Twitter has removed a total of 2,160 accounts linked to the Chinese regional and state propaganda campaign. The social network has announced As part of its latest data release on misinformation campaigns. The accounts were an attempt by the Chinese government to push back allegations of human rights abuses against the Uighur population in Xinjiang.
At the same time, Twitter details a campaign discovered in Tanzania, which used copyright complaints to harass members and supporters of the Fachua Tanzania human rights group.
Twitter says 2,048 accounts “boosted the Chinese Communist Party’s statement regarding the treatment of the Uighur population,” while another 112 were linked to a private company backed by the regional government. But according to an analysis by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), one of the three research partners with whom Twitter shared information, most of the propaganda was made “shamefully”.
According to think tank research GuardianEach network received more than 30,000 tweets, often seeking to disprove evidence of human rights abuses as well as promote Chinese government events. But despite the seriousness of the abuse, most of the data analyzed by the campaign was linked to pornography, Korean soap opera content, and spam accounts, possibly because the network had taken over existing accounts and reused them. What was Hundreds of tweets were linked to one account with the @fuck_next handle, while others tried to tag former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and failed.
Most accounts had very few followers, or none at all, and the vast majority of their tweets saw zero engagement. The exception was when Chinese officials retweeted him, introducing him to a wider audience. ASPI researcher Albert Zhang says this is content that is unlikely to win over new supporters but is “propagandist for base.” Guardian.
In contrast, the Tanzanian-linked operation appears to be more sophisticated, even though it involved a relatively small number of 268 accounts. In a ___ Twitter threadShelby Grossman, a researcher at the Stanford Internet Observatory who worked on the report, explained that the pro-government network would take anti-government material posted by activists and republish it on an external website with this date. Will publish what preceded the tweet, and then tweet the report based on copyright to remove it.
2 / Pro-Tanzanian government network used copyright reporting to harass workers. The scheme was attractive. The following stylized schemes: pic.twitter.com/zEo5MttjQK
– Shelby Grossman (helshelbygrossman) December 2, 2021
“Sometimes this tactic works.” Grossman writes.“Twitter suspended 2 worker accounts, although both were eventually restored.” But this is a difficult situation for workers, as fighting a copyright complaint could compromise the source of the anti-government material.
Xinjiang’s treatment of the Uighur population is called “genocide” and is said to include widespread imprisonment, re-education, forced labor, and even sterilization. Twitter has previously clashed publicly with Chinese authorities over human rights abuses, and in January of this year, before government intervention, Uighur women were referred to as “child-bearing machines”. The US embassy’s Twitter account was locked. As of this writing, the account Looks like it’s locked up and hasn’t tweeted since January 9.
In addition to the operations involving China and Tanzania, Twitter says it has removed accounts related to misinformation campaigns from Mexico, Russia, Uganda and Venezuela.