Twitter suspends 1.7 lakh accounts for spreading narratives in favour of China

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On Thursday, Twitter suspended 1.7 lakh accounts for posting and sharing information which was termed as deceptive narratives favouring the Chinese government. Some of these posts were related to the Hong Kong protests COVID-19 crisis and favoured the Communist Party of China, as per reports said by CNN.

These accounts were “spreading geopolitical narratives favourable to the Communist Party of China” and were removed for violating the platform’s policies on manipulation, said Twitter. The accounts were predominantly tweeting in Chinese languages, added Twitter.

The targets of the campaign were Chinese nationals living abroad and were done in an effort to exploit their capacity to extend the party state’s influence, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Twitter had identified 23,750 accounts as a “highly engaged core network” that were tweeting content favourable in China and another 150,000 accounts that were retweeting the content posted by the core accounts.

According to the researchers at Stanford, the 23,750 accounts collectively tweeted 348,608 times.

Renee DiResta, Research Manager at the Stanford Research Laboratory said, “Narratives around COVID praise China’s response to the virus while tweets also use the pandemic to antagonize the U.S. and Hong Kong activists.”

The company also announced that it had shut down accounts tied to Turkey and Russia.

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