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this has been an art form / science for years, professionalized by the state since 2004, affectionately called the 五毛:

Chinese Vocabulary: Internet Commentators Or Wu Mao (网络评论员 或 五毛党)

Chinese Vocabulary: Internet Commentators Or Wu Mao (网络评论员 或 五毛党, in English 50-cent, 5-cent, 5 cent party, 50 cent party, "Wumao Dang", etc. )

In 2004, the Ministry of Education (MOA) and Communist Youth League jointly issued a guideline on internet censorship. The guideline, addressing all Chinese universities, required them to "recruit more than enough number of internet commentators with trustworthy political backgrounds, abundant knowledge on the internet." The purpose was to have them "write and publish posts on hot issues to attract student internet users' viewing or responding, so that the internet discussion would be well guided."

Very soon the guideline was implemented. Henan Province, for instance, issued a notice to all its local universities, further requiring the universities to train the recruited internet commentators for their job and--in order to have them do a good job--to reward them according to their performance. When the notice reached the local universities, the university authorities added more creative ways to keep the quality of such work. Henan Shangzhuan (a local college in Henan) added that the Party secretaries of its various departments, branches and divisions had to hear reports from them regularly, and these Party secretaries would be evaluated based on their work of guiding internet discusssion.

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For some of them, the volume of their posts is the key to the payment. Taking Hunan Province as an example, it established a system to connect the number of the posts with their payments. The internet commentators in Hunan are each paid a fixed salary of 600 RMB (less than 100 Dollars), plus a bonus of 0.5 RMB (Wu Mao in mandarin, roughly equals to 7 cents) per post----this is why Chinese netizens call the internet commentators as "Wu Mao Dang" (0.5 RMB Party)--or in brief "Wu Mao."

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Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire
by marco on Wed Jan 25th, 2017 at 09:53:13 AM EST
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