Twitter removes over 3,000 accounts for promoting pro-govt propaganda in 6 countries, including China, Russia

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 02, 2021, 09:57 PM(IST)

Twitter also shut down 16 accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The move by Twitter comes after Facebook shut down 524 Facebook accounts, 20 pages, four groups and 86 Instagram accounts belonging to Chinese networks that were misleading the public on the origins of COVID-19

Twitter has removed nearly 3,500 accounts that were said to be promoting pro-government propaganda in six countries, including Russia and China.

“The vast majority of the accounts were part of a network that amplified Chinese Communist Party narratives related to the treatment of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang,” Twitter said in a statement on Thursday.

China has often been accused of gross human rights violations and genocide of Ughyur Muslims in Xinjiang province.

According to experts, more than one million estimated people are incarcerated in camps.

Both Twitter and Facebook are banned in China, but Beijing frequently uses both US social networks to express its opinions on the international stage.

Aside from 2,048 accounts linked to the pro-Beijing campaign, Twitter also shut down 112 accounts connected to a company named Changyu Culture, linked to Xinjiang's regional government.

Also read | China-based networks spread online disinformation campaign on Covid origins, says Facebook

Apart from China, Twitter also shut down 16 accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company labelled a “troll farm” by critics, which runs pro-government online influence campaigns.

“The operation relied on a mix of inauthentic and real accounts to introduce a pro-Russia viewpoint into Central African political discourse,” Twitter said.

The banned accounts also include 276 that shared pro-government content in Mexico, and “277 Venezuelan accounts that amplified accounts, hashtags and topics in support of the government and its official narratives.”

Also read | US Navy, China's Global Times editor in Twitter row

In Africa, 268 accounts were shut down for targeting civil rights group FichuaTanzania, along with 418 that “engaged in coordinated inauthentic activity” in Uganda to promote President Yoweri Museveni.

“In most instances, accounts were suspended for various violations of our platform manipulation and spam policies,” Twitter said.

The move by Twitter comes after Facebook shut down 524 Facebook accounts, 20 pages, four groups and 86 Instagram accounts belonging to Chinese networks that were misleading the public on the origins of COVID-19.

According to a report by Meta, the Facebook accounts connected to Chinese information campaigns had promoted the claims of a fake Swiss biologist called “Wilson Edwards”, who claimed that the US was meddling in efforts to find the origins of Covid.

(With inputs from agencies)

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