Author: Liang, Jiachen
Title: Resilience to information manipulation : the case of Chinese netizens
Advisors: Wong, Stan (APSS)
Chen, Juan (APSS)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2022
Subject: Propaganda, Chinese
Online social networks -- China
Social media -- China
Resilience (Personality trait) -- China
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: iii, viii, 266 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Authorities in authoritarian regimes use information manipulation to sustain regime legitimacy in the 21st century, but studies have found that citizens in these regimes can be resilient to this type of manipulation. Most of the studies thus far have focused on citizens' resilience to censorship, whereas the current research examines citizens' resilience to propaganda. Through two online survey experiments conducted in mainland China, this study finds that Chinese netizens are able to distinguish state propaganda from critical opinion and that they tend to expose themselves to online discussions deviating from official discourses. In addition, Chinese netizens are likely to view social media comments that disagree with the state-proposed policies in an emotional manner. Finally, exposure to counter-official information can significantly decrease individuals' support for state-proposed policies. The current study also provides methodological reflection on the application of survey methods by examining the effectiveness of two survey quality boosters: instrumental manipulation checks and survey motivational messages. Through another online survey experiment conducted in mainland China, this study finds that instrumental manipulation checks may increase survey participants' commitment to a survey; specifically, exposure to instrumental manipulation checks is noted to increase survey participants' time spent on the survey questions significantly.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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