Some Governments Stifling Opposition, Rewarding Friends, Spreading Misinformation Amid Global Pandemic

POLITICO: Chinese diplomacy ramps up social media offensive in Covid-19 info war
“…As the world grapples with the coronavirus crisis, China’s diplomats are waging an online information war. A POLITICO review of social media messages by more than 100 Chinese officials showed a sizable increase in the number of posts since the Covid-19 crisis began in early 2020. Alongside more mundane content, some of Beijing’s diplomats have promoted content harshly critical of both United States and the European Union, dismissed criticism of how China handled the global outbreak, and amplified skewed content from Russian state-backed outlets with track records of widespread misinformation…” (Scott, 4/29).

Washington Post: Under the cover of coronavirus, governments punish adversaries and reward friends
“…[Amid the global pandemic, there is a] disturbing trend in which governments around the world have punished opponents, rewarded friends, and stifled dissent … The overwhelming nature of the fight against the disease combined with physical restrictions on citizens has meant that such actions incite less opposition at home and abroad than in the past. … While emergency measures may be necessary to combat the spread of the virus, some governments ‘appear to be using COVID-19 as a cover for human rights violations, further restricting fundamental freedoms and civic space, and undermining the rule of law,’ Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said in a statement this week. She called such cases ‘deeply worrying’…” (Slater et al., 4/30).