USA: Twitter removes 23,750 Chinese-linked accounts to combat disinformation campaigns

Author: South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), Published on: 14 June 2020

“Twitter removes 23,750 China-linked accounts for spreading disinformation”, 12 June 2020

Twitter has removed 23,750 China-backed accounts in the latest move to combat disinformation campaigns on its platform – a number far greater than those from other countries such as Russia and Turkey.

The US social media platform… said 1,152 Russian-linked accounts and at least 7,340 Turkish government-linked accounts were also removed. These accounts spread deceptive or political narratives favourable to the incumbent governments…

“This entire network was involved in a range of manipulative and coordinated activities,” the company said in a press release on the recent removal.

“They were tweeting predominantly in Chinese languages and spreading geopolitical narratives favourable to the Communist Party of China while continuing to push deceptive narratives about the political dynamics in Hong Kong,” it said.

The suspended China-backed accounts were part of a larger network of some 150,000 spam accounts, which were caught early and removed before they gained traction on Twitter, according to the social media firm.

Twitter and other technology companies such as Facebook are increasingly scrutinised for their management of online public platforms that could be misused for state-backed disinformation campaigns or spread speech that incite hate and violence…

Twitter’s analysis on the accounts and their content was carried out by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and the Stanford Internet Observatory…

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