Meta, the parent company of the popular social network Facebook issued a notice on Tuesday, September 27, announcing that it had removed “inauthentic” accounts based in China. They were intended to influence other users regarding U.S. policy issues.
According to the report the “influence operation” also appeared on other social networks such as Instagram and Twitter. All appeared to be aimed at interfering in the U.S. midterm elections in November.
The recently deleted accounts had been active since 2021, and from that time until they were discovered they focused on criticizing the United States, especially the most conservative policies.
The discovery is of great significance because, compared to previous propaganda and smear campaigns, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is now more directly intervening in U.S. domestic politics.
Meta’s global threat intelligence leader Ben Nimmo said at a press conference, “The Chinese operations we’ve taken down before talked primarily about America to the world, primarily in South Asia, not to Americans about themselves.”
According to Nimmo’s statements, the interventions essentially sought to portray that “America is bad” and “China is good.”
To accomplish this purpose they pushed messages aimed at both conservative and progressive Americans, with divisive issues such as abortion and the right to bear arms.
One of the accounts reportedly commented on a Facebook post by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, calling on him to stop gun violence and using the hashtag #RubioChildrenKiller.
Russian accounts were also found operating in a similar manner
Meta’s report also said that, separately, the company intercepted the largest and most complex Russian operation since the start of the war in Ukraine. It spread across more than 60 sites on the web, ranging from social media accounts to petitions on sites such as Avaaz.
The fake Russian accounts spread to several countries in Europe and the United States and according to Meta they spent a total of more than $100,000 on ads promoting pro-Russian messages.
Authorities at the Russian Embassy in the United States ruled out the possibility that the accounts are fake and assured that the measure of cancellation of Russian accounts by Meta implies a violation of individual freedoms.
The embassy said on its Telegram channel, “This suggests that American tech giants, who own the most popular internet resources, have become servants of the U.S. administration’s policy of suppressing dissent.”
Communism has always used lies and propaganda to gain followers
Since the origin of communism and in all existing regimes, lies, censorship, and propaganda have been used to guide people’s ideas to the benefit of the regime.
Using all kinds of methods the CCP has penetrated every facet of Chinese society. In this way it has managed to eliminate opposition and create a “single thought” to keep society “asleep,” controlled, and not questioning what the Party orders.
Social networks and telecommunications have allowed both the CCP and progressive currents to rapidly spread their ideology throughout the world at minimal cost.
Although the Chinese regime banned Facebook, it uses it to spread information in its favor abroad.
One of the greatest propaganda achievements of the CCP has been to impose the social network TikTok as one of the most used platforms in the West.
Through it, it manages to collect valuable information from Tiktok’s users and regulate at its pleasure and whim the content consumed by millions and millions of young people and teenagers in the West.
A Forbes report recently showed that 300 employees of ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, simultaneously work as journalists for official CCP media. This exposes the social network, which for years has been accused of being used for espionage purposes by the Chinese regime.
Among the 300 ByteDance workers, at least 50 are direct employees of TikTok, who at the same time have jobs in different communist propaganda media such as Xinhua, People’s Daily, the CCP’s state broadcaster (CGTN), or even as official representatives of the regime.
TikTok has more than 1 billion users worldwide, and several countries have declared their concerns regarding the security of user data.
This particularly includes the United States. Under the directives of former President Donald Trump, the U.S. has begun a lawsuit to fairly investigate allegations of data theft, propaganda broadcasting, and psychological damage and disruption to its users.
In June, BuzzFeed newspaper reported through 80 leaked audios of internal TikTok meetings that the CCP was accessing U.S. user data from China at any time.
The data collected could be used by the CCP as a means of espionage and to enforce soft power.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, has referred to TikTok as “a Trojan horse the Chinese Communist Party can use to influence what Americans see, hear, and ultimately think.”
The CCP clearly sees social media as a key avenue to gain support and generate dissent, underscoring, once again, why the platforms must remain vigilant to ensure they are not being used for such purposes.