Twitter permanently removes state-linked accounts from China, Russia and Turkey
Twitter said that it deleted about 170,000 pro-China accounts from the social media platform as they attempted to spread the narrative of the Chinese Communist Party. A network of over 23,000 core accounts was posting primarily in the Chinese language while another 150,000 accounts were acting as amplifier accounts.
The company accused these accounts of boosting the Communist Party’s version of events on the Hong Kong protests. They were also allegedly spreading inaccurate information about COVID-19 and Taiwan. The core accounts, which were operational for a period of about two years, posted a total of 348,608 tweets. The Chinese language tweets also included Cantonese characters, which is spoken in Hong Kong.
“While this network is new, the technical links we used to identify the activity and attribute it to the PRC remain consistent with activity we initially identified and disclosed in August 2019,” Twitter said in its company blog. Company’s CEO Jack Dorsey also retweeted the blog.
“In general, this entire network was involved in a range of manipulative and coordinated activities. They were tweeting predominantly in Chinese languages and spreading geopolitical narratives favourable to the Communist Party of China (CCP), while continuing to push deceptive narratives about the political dynamics in Hong Kong,” the blog said.
Twitter is highly censored in China and the government regulates its control. In recent times, the Chinese government has been accused of using the platform to push its agenda on a global scale.
Twitter took similar action against some Russia agenda-driven accounts recently as well. The social media platform also recently tagged some of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets as potentially based on misinformation as per its new policy. Trump responded in his typical debonair style, threatening strong action against the platform by tweeting on it.