Unveiling Deception: The Intricate Web as China Pays Australian Influencer to Instigate Conflict with Mack Horton

  • World
  • Monday, 27 November 2023 01:54

"Manipulating Influence: Unveiling the Intricate Web as China Pays Australian Influencer to Incite Conflict with Mack Horton

In the aftermath of Australian swimmer Mack Horton's Olympic gold victory in Rio de Janeiro, a simmering controversy unfolded. Despite the triumph, Horton couldn't suppress his anger, labeling silver medalist Sun Yang, a Chinese swimmer with a prior doping violation, a "drug cheat." Enter David Gulasi, an Australian residing in China with a substantial social media following built on a mix of food blogging, toilet humor, and Chinese nationalism.

Gulasi, backed by a Chinese influencer-management agency, found himself urged to escalate tensions with Horton. In 2016, China's burgeoning influencing machine was just beginning to flex its muscles. With 3.6 million followers across Chinese social media platforms Bilibili, Douyin, and Xigua, Gulasi unleashed a verbal assault on Horton, stating, “I feel ashamed to be of the same nationality as you. The Chinese need to stand up and stand up for their country.”

This orchestrated clash marked a pivotal moment in the rise of Western social media stars leveraging Chinese nationalism for popularity, despite facing criticism and division back home. Gulasi, once dismissed as a cantankerous novelty, and his counterparts became pioneers in riding the wave of Chinese patriotism.

Reflecting on the dynamics of his former agency Shock Culture, Gulasi revealed, "They would often tell us what type of content to post and what types of things to do. If you go against the agency, they flag you as someone who is troublesome." This revelation sheds light on the behind-the-scenes manipulation that fueled the narrative, revealing the intricate web of influence that guided these content creators.

As the episode involving Horton and Sun Yang unfolded on the global stage, it underscored the complexities and ethical questions surrounding the intersection of sports, nationalism, and influencer marketing in the digital age."

"In the complex world of influencer marketing and the collision of sports and nationalism, the orchestrated clash between Australian swimmer Mack Horton and Chinese influencer David Gulasi reveals the intricate layers of manipulation behind the scenes. As Western social media stars navigate the waves of Chinese patriotism for popularity, the story serves as a poignant reminder of the ethical questions and divisive dynamics that underpin the evolving landscape of digital influence. This episode prompts reflection on the power dynamics between influencers and management agencies, exposing the nuanced challenges posed by the intersection of individual expression, national pride, and the global stage."