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Twitter Shuts Down More Than 170,000 Accounts Linked To Chinese Government

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Twitter Shuts Down More Than 170,000 Accounts Linked To Chinese Government

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) announced Thursday it had shut down over 170,000 accounts for pushing deceptive narratives about political dynamics in Hong Kong favorable to the Communist Party of China (CCP).

What Happened

In an attempt to prevent the efforts of governments seeking to push their narratives on social media, Twitter has shut down three distinct operations linked to China, Russia, and Turkey.

The Chinese network on Twitter is new and is made up of a core of 23,750 accounts and another 150,000 accounts related to content promotion.

Most of the content targeted by Twitter was in Chinese languages and consisted of tweets spreading geopolitical narratives favorable to the CCP.

Why It Matters

A research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory, Renee DiResta, who analyzed the accounts said most of those that posted about COVID-19 had only been set up in late January, reported CNN.

Twitter said most of the accounts had been identified early and had low follower counts and low engagement.

The microblogging company found 1,152 accounts tweeting in favor of the ruling United Russia party and the attacking of dissidents. 7,340 fake and compromised accounts were detected building narratives in favor of Turkey’s ruling AK Parti and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Twitter disclosed it had removed 1,000 accounts operating within mainland China for deliberately and specifically sowing political discord in Hong Kong in August 2019.

Last month, President Donald Trump accused Twitter of “doing nothing” about lies & propaganda being put out by China.  

Twitter Price Action

Twitter shares traded 0.97% higher at $33.35 in the after-hours session on Thursday. The shares had closed the regular session 6% lower at $33.03. 

 

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