Column | Washington’s Bayonette
EXCLUSIVE: Like owner, like CEO. Elon Musk’s new CEO of Twitter, Linda Yaccarino, seems to agree with him on the wonders and successes of the genocidal and dictatorial Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Yaccarino contributed to an April 2020 White Paper praising China’s “values-driven” attempt to exercise more government control over Chinese media. The white paper even specifically advocated for government funding of media, essentially arguing for state propaganda. In China, that exact model has led to pure propaganda and squelching of both truth and free speech. That’s what Yaccarino supports, and now she’s going to head Twitter at the desire of “pro-free speech” Elon Musk.
The CCP runs the worst censorship and surveillance regime in the world, and the CCP exercises autocratic state control over all media and businesses. Not to mention China has “civil-military fusion,” where everything in the economic and tech spheres is accessible to the Chinese military. Then there’s the CCP’s social credit score, which the CCP was already rolling out in 2019, when Forbes described it thus:
“In China, government agencies and private companies are collecting enormous amounts of data about e.g. an individual’s finances, social media activities, credit history, health records, online purchases, tax payments, legal matters, and people you associate with in, [sic] addition to images gathered from China’s 200 million surveillance cameras and facial recognition software. Data that indicates non-compliance with legally prescribed social and economic obligations and contractual commitments are flagged up and aggregated on a government-wide level to determine the trustworthiness of companies and individuals…[by 2020,] there will be a searchable file of every Chinese citizen that represents all the data collected from public and private companies to track their social credit.”
This includes anti-regime comments on social media, attendance at non-government-approved protests, etc. The full program began to be implemented in 2014 and was supposed to be fully functional by 2020, when Yaccarino contributed to the World Economic Forum (WEF) white paper. WEF has deep ties to the CCP, incidentally, being partnered with at least 47 CCP-controlled entities, including a number of entities outright owned by the Chinese government.
This white paper expressed “optimism” about how many people in China might have more “willingness to pay” for news services (paying for news was treated as a high good and goal in the white paper). Then it expresses doubt about the “viability” of media relying mostly on advertising revenue, saying that “who should pay?…advertisers, consumers, and government each have a similar-sized role to play.” There’s a direct endorsement of government funding for, and thus control over, media. That same paragraph praised Chinese citizens’ “awareness” of how ads subsidize media.
Despite the CCP’s ongoing genocide and other crimes, which were occurring just as much in 2020, the WEF document said, “In China, a more values-driven line is being followed, where regulation of news, publishing, and broadcasting is consolidated under a single department responsible for safeguarding and promoting approved social and cultural norms.” The CCP is not “values-driven.” It’s power-driven—and it has proven that it’s willing to use any means, including mass murder, to achieve its dream of world domination. Absolute control of the media is part of that. And yet, earlier in the white paper, WEF rejoiced that “there are bright spots: Countries such as China and India show great appetite for news and entertainment.”
Keeping in mind that paying for media is viewed as a positive by WEF, the document states that China has “higher engagement with paid media services than other countries.” WEF doesn’t appear to care that the media services are answerable to a genocidal dictatorship.
In China, not only is there state media that acts as a mere propaganda mouthpiece of the evil CCP, but all media is answerable to the CCP. In March 2022, China Media Project noted, “Xi Jinping emphasized six years ago that media ‘must be surnamed Party,’ and journalists must love and serve the CCP.” Back in 2018, Radio Free Asia announced, “China’s Central Propaganda Department Takes Over Regulation of All Media.” So celebrating the fact that Chinese citizens read their media or pay for their media, as the WEF document does, is ridiculous. Why would we be happy that people are consuming lying propaganda, meant to serve the ends of the world’s greatest mass murderer (the CCP)? And why on earth would we look toward China as a model in any way when it comes to media? These are questions that become particularly pertinent now that one of the white paper’s contributors, Yaccarino, is to head Twitter.
Yaccarino might already be influencing Musk, too. The WEF white paper to which she contributed presented a “pay-per-use” model for media as a positive. Just recently, not long before his public announcement that Yaccarino is to be Twitter CEO, Musk said that Twitter would soon go to a pay-per-use or pay-per-article model, where users have to pay to access each article on the platform.
The WEF white paper even mentions the fact that weekly downloads of apps jumped significantly during China’s COVID-19 lockdowns. Those were the lockdowns so awful, with family forcibly separated, untold numbers locked in quarantine camps, and pets murdered, that people were starving to death en masse or committing suicide. The lockdowns eventually triggered massive anti-regime protests in China starting in late 2022. And yet the WEF white paper did not seem to take a negative view of the lockdowns, merely stating how they had increased app downloads, which presumably (based on WEF’s support for lockdowns) the WEF sees as a potentially positive thing.
Musk’s promotion of a pro-China leftist hack is hardly surprising, despite his constant blathering about free speech. He already promoted a Chinese executive, answerable to the CCP, to top executive of his US Tesla operations. Chinese workers for Musk’s Tesla were reportedly being forced to work in very inhumane conditions during China’s insane zero-COVID lockdowns in early 2022, and Musk endorsed the CCP’s unjust claims on Taiwan (after which China gave Musk’s Tesla tax exempt status). Musk also wrote an article last August for China Cyberspace, “a monthly magazine run by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the central agency for internet control and regulation.” In the article, Musk tried to encourage CCP interest in his microchip, artificial intelligence, and space travel projects. Just recently, Musk prepared to build a new factory in China. With Musk’s vision for Twitter to become the “X everything app” potentially influenced by Chinese models, it’s not surprising he specifically got a seemingly pro-China individual (Yaccarino) to help him create X.
Recently, survivors of the CCP’s horrific internment camps for Uyghur Muslims testified to Congress about how the CCP is imposing brainwashing, torture, sexual abuse, forced sterilization, and inhumane conditions on them. The CCP also used genocidal policies against both Tibetans and Mongolians. Only a few months ago, the CCP committed a “Tiananmen 2.0” massacre against anti-regime protesters in China. Besides Uyghur Muslims, Chinese Christians and Falun Gong are among the groups persecuted by the CCP for their religious beliefs.
Other countries must stop treating the CCP as a legitimate government and recognize the CCP for what it is: a mass murdering crime organization. And as long as Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino ignore that reality of the CCP, and legitimize it instead, they are not only suspect—they are complicit in the CCP’s crimes.