Microblogging site, Twitter, stated that accounts posting false narratives pushed by countries like China, Russia and Turkey, have been removed. The site found that 1,73,750 accounts linked to the Chinese government posted false information related to COVID-19 and the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, only 1,152 accounts linked to Russia and 7, 340 accounts linked to Turkey were removed.
As per Twitter, the target of the pro-China post were Chinese-speaking people. While 23,750 accounts where the core network, approximately 1,50,000 accounts were designed to boost this content.“They were tweeting predominantly in Chinese languages and spreading geopolitical narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China (CCP), while continuing to push deceptive narratives about the political dynamics in Hong Kong,” Twitter stated.
The company was able to bust the activities of the core 23,750 accounts, which failed to achieve considerable traction, but were carrying false narratives, that was later amplified by about 1.70 lakh accounts. However, the 23,750 account users can connect with Twitter if the users feels the site has wrongly removed their account.
While the most state-backed accounts removed were related to China, the other countries like Russia and Turkey have also used Twitter to promote political propaganda.
Commenting about Russia-backed accounts, the site said, “Aided in part by useful information sharing from external researchers and our peer companies, we investigated accounts associated with Current Policy, a media website engaging in state-backed political propaganda within Russia. A network of accounts related to this media operation was suspended for violations of our platform manipulation policy, specifically cross-posting and amplifying content in an inauthentic, coordinated manner for political ends.” It was found that 1,152 accounts were promoting the United Russia party and attacking political dissidents.
In the case of Turkey, 7,340 accounts were employing “coordinated inauthentic activity, which was primarily targeted at domestic audiences within Turkey.” The analysis proved that the collection of fake and compromised accounts was being used to push political narratives favorable to the AK Parti, and demonstrated strong support for President Erdogan.