• Singing the party’s song

    Fergus Ryan     |      November 27, 2023

    Vetted and approved social media influencers flourish under the Chinese Communist Party’s tightly regulated social media ecosystem as the party uses their popularity to bolster its dubious legitimacy both domestically and abroad.

  • Australia’s bid to curb online disinformation

    Fergus Ryan     |      September 13, 2023

    After years of laissez-faire policy making, the world’s biggest tech companies are finally becoming subject to more stringent regulation, and Australia’s attempts to encourage platforms to take more responsibility is a useful way forward.

  • Tyranny, Tik-Tok and you

    Fergus Ryan     |      April 22, 2023

    Growing concern about the dangers of Tik-Tok should examine the ideological drivers of China’s underhand activities, rather than focus on technological fixes for one particular aspect of them.

  • Sunlight is the best disinfectant

    Fergus Ryan     |      June 16, 2022

    Australia’s willingness to investigate wrong-doing in Afghanistan stands in sharp contrast to China’s secrecy about its own affairs and propaganda about others.

  • Where is Peng Shuai?

    Fergus Ryan     |      November 20, 2021

    As international concern about Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai’s whereabouts grows and more of the world’s top tennis stars weigh in, Beijing’s propagandists are floundering.

  • Why TikTok isn’t really a social media app

    Fergus Ryan     |      March 12, 2021

    There’s one thing we’re all getting wrong about TikTok: it’s not really a social media app.

  • The rise and fall of TikTok

    Fergus Ryan     |      July 20, 2020

    With its back to the wall, the company behind the highly successful TikTok app is throwing everything it can at stave off further bans around the world, given fears over user privacy and its links to the Chinese Communist Party.

  • Time out for TikTok

    Fergus Ryan     |      January 17, 2020

    The news that Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok is not approved for use on devices owned by Australia’s Department of Defence should come as no surprise.

  • ‘Human rights with Chinese characteristics’ aren’t human rights at all

    Fergus Ryan     |      November 10, 2018

    Through its words and its deeds, the Chinese government is showing what it really is and how it intends to shape the world in the coming decades.

  • A roadmap for reining in big tech

    Fergus Ryan     |      August 3, 2018

    Social media platforms have finally been harassed into actually doing something about the harmful externalities their services are creating, but what more can be done to safeguard their users and the rest of society?

  • Walking the walk on values with China

    Fergus Ryan     |      June 3, 2018

    As long as the Australian government claims to be ‘a determined advocate of liberal institutions, universal values and human rights’, as it did in its recent 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, there should be some evidence that we’re prepared to confront China’s ever more draconian censorship.