Twitter removes China-linked accounts spreading false news

LONDON: Twitter has eliminated an unlimited community of accounts that it says is linked to the Chinese authorities and was pushing false data favorable to the nation’s communist rulers. Beijing denied involvement Friday and mentioned the corporate ought to as a substitute take down accounts smearing China.

The U.S. social media firm suspended 23,750 accounts that had been posting pro-Beijing narratives, and one other 150,000 accounts devoted to retweeting and amplifying these messages.

The community was engaged “in a spread of coordinated and manipulated actions“ in predominantly Chinese languages, together with reward for China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and “misleading narratives” about Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, the corporate mentioned.

The accounts additionally tweeted about two different matters: Taiwan and Guo Wengui, an exiled billionaire waging a marketing campaign from New York towards China’s president and social gathering chief Xi Jinping and his administration. Most had little to no followers and did not get a lot consideration. The accounts had been suspended below Twitter’s manipulation insurance policies, which ban synthetic amplification and suppression of data.

Twitter and different social media companies like Facebook and YouTube are blocked in China.

“While the Chinese Communist Party will not enable the Chinese individuals to make use of Twitter, our evaluation exhibits it’s joyful to make use of it to sow propaganda and disinformation internationally,“ mentioned Fergus Hanson, director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre, which labored with the corporate on the takedown.

China denied involvement.

“It holds no water in any respect to equate China’s response to the epidemic with disinformation,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying mentioned at a each day information briefing in Beijing on Friday. She mentioned she wasn’t conscious of Twitter’s takedown and the explanation behind it.

“If Twitter needs to make a distinction, it ought to shut down these accounts which have been organized and coordinated to assault and discredit China,” she mentioned, including that China was the “largest sufferer of false data.“

Twitter additionally eliminated greater than 1,000 accounts linked to a Russian media web site participating in state-backed political propaganda in Russian, and a community of seven,340 faux or compromised accounts used for “cheerleading” the ruling social gathering in Turkey.

Turkey’s presidential communications director, Fahrettin Altun, mentioned allegations that the accounts had been faux are “unfaithful” and known as Twitter’s transfer an try to smear Turkey’s authorities and the ruling social gathering.

“The arbitrary act, hidden behind the smokescreen of transparency and freedom of expression, has demonstrated but towards that Twitter is not any mere social media firm however a propaganda machine with sure political and ideological inclinations,” Altun mentioned.



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Tarun Banerjee

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