Measuring the size and impact of the Chinese misinformation machine is no easy task. But the fact that Twitter and Facebook announced today they suspended almost 1,000 accounts for being part of a China-backed campaign to disrupt Hong Kong protests could give a sense of its amplitude.
Asians woke up this Tuesday to news that Twitter decided to shut down 936 accounts originating from within China for a number of violations of the company’s “platform manipulation policies,” including spam, coordinated activity, fake accounts and ban evasion. Twitter also suspended approximately 200,000 accounts its investigation found were illegitimate.
According to the South China Morning Post, Twitter said “intensive investigations” had found “reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation” from the Chinese government.
Facebook took the same road. It removed seven pages, three groups and five accounts involved in what the company called a “coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a small network that originated in China and focused on Hong Kong,” reported the South China Morning Post.
Both actions are reverberating worldwide and show a part of the Chinese official misinformation machine.
In August, Reuters reported that the Chinese government had paid “five media groups (in Taiwan) to publish positive articles about the country.” Without naming the companies where that had happened, the newswire service gave the world a new perspective of what China could be capable of doing when it needs to spread its own point of view.
“While the articles were presented as straight news,
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2019/what-do-we-really-know-about-the-chinese-misinformation-machine/