I write for Quora. Quora is a social media website owned by Google where people ask and answer each other’s questions. Like most social media sites, it trends Left and anyone with an opposing viewpoint has to be extra careful to avoid having their content pulled from the site. It has a BNBR policy – “be nice be respectful” that is supposed to deter trolls. The content policies are policed by algorithms under the supervision of humans.
The site is a favorite of the Wumao, China’s 50 Cent Army that attacks anyone who challenges the narratives pushed by the Chinese Communist Party. As someone who studied Chinese, and planned to live there until Tiananmen happened, I’ve brushed up against these trolls numerous times. But in most cases I’ve been successful at getting my posts reinstated or “uncollapsed” by appealing to the Quora moderators.
But not yesterday. The question was: “Do people in America blame China for bringing covid-19?” I wrote the following:
I finished the article with a Watergate quote, “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover up,” to describe why China should be held responsible for the Covid-19 virus (the last paragraph was cutoff by the screen shot).
I posted the answer and almost immediately it disappeared. At first I thought I had accidentally deleted it, but there was no draft, and the post was completely wiped. My answer was the only one that didn’t blame Trump or the US for the virus.
The Chinese are running an intense propaganda effort to blame anyone else for the origin of Covid-19, including the Japanese. Four years of Mandarin had allowed me to scan the source mentioned by the Time article above and find the specific Chinese characters asking readers to refer to Covid-19 as “Japanese Pneumonia.”
I reached out to Quora and received the following canned reply: “
On Quora, spam is generally defined as one or more questions, answers, posts, comments, or messages whose purpose appears to be to direct traffic to external sites or solicit individual services, while providing little to no value back to the Quora Community.
It’s fine to post about a product, company, or blog on Quora – either in an answer to a relevant question or as a post on your Quora blog – but repeatedly posting the same information, or consistently including your contact information may be considered spamming. To learn more about Quora’s policy on spam, please visit: How does Quora define spam? What are the consequences of spamming on Quora?
After reviewing your content, we’ve determined that it was in violation of this policy and unfortunately, we will not be able to reinstate it.”
I wrote back and received no reply. As of the writing, the answer is still deleted, and the question still spouts anti-American propaganda.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Google has bowed low to the Communist Party’s demands. The site was infested with Chinese claims that the virus was engineered by the US, and that it even showed a preference for the physiology of Chinese people. Reporting such baseless allegations in January and February to Quora did not stop them from appearing, and even today, when the disease is ravaging the rest of the world Quora continues to spread false accusations, innuendo and rumor meant to portray China in a positive light and shield its government from criticism.