Twitter suspends 1.7 lakh accounts for spreading narratives favourable to China

Twitter suspends 1.7 lakh accounts for spreading narratives favourable to China

Twitter also removed two smaller state-backed operations which it attributed to Russian Federation and Turkey, both focused on domestic audiences.

Social media platform Twitter has announced that it has removed about 170,000 accounts that it says were used by China to manipulate information.

Twitter has removed every piece of content associated with the networks from its platform.

In general, this entire network was involved in a range of manipulative and coordinated activities.

CNBC reported that the social media network removed 23,750 accounts that it said were spreading "geopolitical narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China (CCP)".

Twitter Inc. said today that it has taken down more than 32,000 fake accounts engaged in "state-linked information operations" on its platform.

Turkey fiercely criticized Twitter on Friday for suspending more than 7,000 accounts that supported President Tayyip Erdogan, saying the company was smearing the government and trying to redesign Turkish politics.

Twitter said this network also compromised accounts.

Twitter said it had worked with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute ASPI and Stanford Internet Observatory SIO and had shared relevant data with them. They also highlighted that while the majority of the accounts were created mere weeks before they started tweeting in late January, some had been created as early as September 2019 and had remained dormant until they started sharing about COVID-19.

Twitter said the 2 interconnected sets of accounts were caught early and typically had very few followers with low levels of engagement.

"Narratives around Covid", SIO wrote in its analysis, "praise China's response to the virus while tweets also use the pandemic to antagonize USA and Hong Kong activists".

Officially, Twitter is blocked in China though many people use it via a VPN.

Humanitarian China said its account was suspended after a video meeting on 31 May to discuss the Tiananmen crackdown which was attended by 250 activists, some calling in from China, where discussion of the incident is illegal.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Fahrettin Altun, the communications director of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the USA company was attempting to "redesign Turkish politics".

It added that it had seen evidence that the campaign used hacked or purchased older accounts which were repurposed to target Chinese-speaking Twitter users.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson opened an account to counter US President Donald Trump's criticism of Beijing.

Related Articles