My research uncovers the use of euphemism by the Chinese government to spread false narratives and deny allegations of human rights abuses and genocidal acts against the Uyghur ethnic minority. Euphemistic names for policies like "vocational training centers" and "poverty alleviation" are rooted in information campaigns that deceitfully frame Chinese actions as positive and beneficent. Likewise, the Chinese government labels Uyghurs as terrorists, harmfully and falsely characterizing an entire ethnicity as criminal. My analysis contributes to the field of Disinformation Studies by highlighting the specific function of the device, euphemism, as an intentionally false distortion of narrative that causes significant harm while also bridging the gap between the study of genocide and the disinformation narratives that falsely justify it.
Download Full Text (574 KB)
Voce, Greg, "State-Sponsored Disinformation about Uyghurs: Euphemism as Genocide Denial" (2023). Research Days Posters 2023. 99.