Facebook and Twitter Remove Accounts Connected to China – World News

Facebook and Twitter Remove Accounts Connected to China

Twitter and Facebook said they had removed thousands of accounts linked to Chinese information campaigns, in the latest sign of Beijing’s ambitions to shape the global narrative across the country.

In a notice posted early Thursday, Twitter said it took action against the two networks, involving more than 2,000 accounts, that worked to undermine allegations of human rights abuses in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, Where Chinese authorities placed Muslim minorities under house arrest and hardened them. Supervision.

Both networks promoted videos shot within Xinjiang that sought to portray the region as a place of prosperity and freedom. According to a report on the takedown released by the Stanford Internet Observatory, a network for which Twitter blamed the Chinese Communist Party, coordinated verbal attacks against activists and articles criticizing China, while accompanied by positive comments and likes. Strengthened the Chinese state media. , a research group focused on the abuse of technology and social media.

The New York Times and ProPublica previously recognized The network accounts for a large number of accounts in June’s report about the campaign to project normalcy in Xinjiang.

Although the more than 30,000 tweets attributed to the network received little engagement, harassment and use of the hashtag indicated “an attempt to restart global debate or crowdsource critical/adversarial narratives,” reports Stanford. Having said.

In a separate statement issued late Wednesday night, Facebook said It removed more than 500 accounts after helping to raise the posts of a fake Swiss biologist named “Wilson Edwards”, who alleged that the United States was trying to track down the origins of COVID-19 from the World Health Organization. interfering in the efforts of Allegations of a fake scientist were cited by Chinese state media.

When the Swiss embassy in Beijing said “Wilson Edwards” did not exist, Facebook discovered that his account on the platform was created less than 12 hours before postings began.

The takedowns are the latest in a series of efforts by US social media companies to push back against Chinese information campaigns. Although blocked within China, Twitter and Facebook have become important avenues of shaping global opinion about China. In recent years, Chinese diplomats and state media have focused on new efforts to follow up on the platforms.

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