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A Study on Job Cognition of Internet Pushing Hands

Mei Wu and Zhiqun Chen
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Mei Wu: Department of Communication, University of Macau, Macau, China
Zhiqun Chen: School of Journalism and Information Communication, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China

International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST), 2014, vol. 4, issue 2, 14-32

Abstract: The so-called “Internet pushing hands†(wangluo tuishou) are participants of promotional information propagation specific to Chinese cyberspace, which is based on a pay-per-post business model and viral marketing. Internet pushing hands operatives utilize paid commentators who under multiple identities post coordinated messages to social media sites according to a prearranged strategy of commentary production and distribution. If the campaign grows through the electronic word of mouth and goes viral, it draws attention of print and broadcast media and creates national news centered on the promoted product, service, or person. This study examines the phenomenon of Internet pushing hands through cognitions of its workforce, i.e., how wangluo tuishou feel about their jobs. Using Q methodology, the authors identify four types of workers employed by Internet pushing hand operations, namely: peripheral, hype-oriented, career-minded, and task-oriented workers. The analysis explicates the ambiguous status of the unregulated Internet pushing hand industry in China and its uncertain future.

Date: 2014
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