Although they sound like a new villain from a Hollywood movie, they are less scary in person. They are soldiers of propaganda, using whatever free-speech tools they can muster to win the hearts and minds of a voting public. But this is not a political tale, rather, it is a commercial one; and the votes are cast with Ren Min Bi (Chinese Yuan).
So, where does this “Water Army” come from? In fact, it is a Chinese term which has been causing difficulties for consumer protection around the Chinese Internet. Imagine you go to a forum online and look for information about insurance, a new car, or even a toaster. Hundreds or thousands of these soldiers are hired for cheap, usually ￥0.7 RMB ($.01) per post, and begin a campaign to sway public opinion toward or against various products. In a country where the average worker makes 20-25RMB ($3) per hour, it is economically feasible for Water Armies to exist. Continue reading New Threat! Water Armies All Across China