Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram are blocked in China but the Communist government has used these very platforms to spread fake narrative favoring them elsewhere in the world.
China is on the backfoot ever since it emerged that Wuhan was the epicentre of the Corona Pandemic and how the Communist country failed to stem the spread of the virus. However, since the worlwide backlash the Chinese Communist Party has increased its propaganda campaign. Many social media accounts on various platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram are suspected to have been created to further the Chinese government propaganda. It is now well-known that China has paid millions of dollars to international media organisations and newspapers
in form of advertisements to report on its behalf.
The report on Taipei Times, says that Twitter suspended a core network of 23,750 highly active accounts, as well as a larger network of about 150,000 “amplifier” accounts used to boost the core accounts’ content. Researchers who analyzed the accounts, said that the network was largely an echo chamber of fake accounts without much further traction but spread the pro-Chinese narrative in a organised manner. It is to be noted that Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram are blocked in China. However, the Communist government has used these very platforms to spread fake narrative favoring it elsewhere in the world.
Twitter in its official statement has said that the Chinese network had links to an earlier state-backed operation that had been pushing misleading narratives about political dynamics in Hong Kong. The new operation similar to the earlier one, focused heavily on Hong Kong and pro-China narrative on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Researchers at Stanford Internet Observatory said that these accounts praised China’s response to the virus, while also using the pandemic to antagonize the US and Hong Kong activists. It is now suspected that many of these accounts were also involved in inflaming passions over 'Black Lives Matter' movement in the US and the violent riots that ensued.
The propaganda machinery which included creation of pro-China social media accounts is said to be part of the larger propaganda exercise of the Chinese Communist Party. It was recently reported that more than $19 Million were paid to the two Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and many other US newspapers by the Chinese propaganda outlet 'China Daily' for paid articles, advertising and printing. NYT and Foreign Policy (FP) were also paid tens of thousands of dollars in advertising. All these newspapers had praised China's 'successful handling' of Corona outbreak.