A recent Associated Press report prepared in conjunction with the Oxford Internet Institute claims that an army of fake bot accounts has been pushing Chinese Communist Party (CCP) messages on Twitter without action by the platform for quite some time.
There are growing arguments to confirm that the CCP uses Western social networks as a new front in its long and ambitious war to shape global public opinion.
As part of a new chapter in the subjugation of communism on a global scale, the Associated Press released a report detailing how the CCP has been using bot accounts to push its messages on Western social networks.
Liu Xiaoming, who recently resigned as China’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, is one of the party’s most successful foot soldiers on this online battlefield, the report claims. He joined Twitter in October 2019, when dozens of Chinese diplomats mysteriously began creating accounts for themselves on Twitter and Facebook, both of which are banned in China.
Since then, Liu has conspicuously raised his public profile, quickly gaining more than 119,000 followers while transforming himself into an example of China’s new “wolf warrior” diplomacy, a term borrowed from the title of a blockbuster Chinese action movie.
His stream of posts was retweeted more than 43,000 times from June through February alone.
But according to the report, much of Liu’s popular support, like that of many of his colleagues on Twitter, is not natural but rather achieved through an army of fake users.
According to the seven-month investigation, “China’s rise on Twitter has been powered by an army of fake accounts that have retweeted Chinese diplomats and state media tens of thousands of times.” The investigation also claims that the Chinese Communist Party sponsors the entire effort.
After the arduous investigation, it was discovered that more than half of the retweets Liu received from June to January came from accounts that Twitter later suspended for violating the platform’s rules.
Overall, the report claims, more than one in ten of the retweets that 189 Chinese diplomats got during the latest time period came from accounts that Twitter had suspended before March 1.
The Twitter suspensions did not stop the system developed by the Chinese to reproduce their propaganda. In fact, a sizable group of fake accounts, many posing as British citizens, continued to push Chinese government content, amassing more than 16,000 retweets and replies before Twitter blocked them as well, following research developed by AP News and the Oxford Internet Institute.
This CCP initiative, according to the report, has two objectives, on the one hand, to make Chinese propaganda visible and impose a pro-communist discourse on the networks; on the other hand, to alter Twitter’s algorithms to boost the distribution of popular publications, potentially exposing more genuine users to Chinese government propaganda.
The precept of this perverse system is that while individual fake accounts may not seem shocking on their own, over time and on a large scale, such networks can distort the information environment, deepening the reach and authenticity of Chinese regime messages.
Once again, Big Tech comes into the spotlight of criticism. Does one wonder how it can escape an entire army battling inside the network for so many months? At the same time that it acts so quickly to censor any minimally conservative voice seeking to speak out on Twitter. Evidently, this further proves his ideological bias and inclination towards the globalist leftism that the Chinese regime intends to impose on a global scale.