Despite a blanket ban on Twitter, many users in China downloaded the social media app amid growing dissent against President Xi Jinping's zero-COVID policies.
What Happened: Twitter ranked 8th among all the free iOS apps in China on Nov. 29, up from 150 a week ago, showed data from app analytics firm SensorTower.
Numerous accounts in China that were dormant for months or years also came to life during the weekend and started spamming to reduce news flow about the widespread protests.
However, the discussions about the protests against Xi and his Communist Party's zero-COVID policy were among the trending topics on Twitter.
Over the weekend, for hours, spammers ensured that anyone searching for content related to the cities where the protests were happening or using Chinese names for the locations would see pages of unrelated useless tweets instead of the relevant information.
The Chinese censors also closely monitor the Twitter-like Chinese app Weibo – which could have led to people pouring onto foreign alternatives to disseminate information.
Like Twitter, other social media apps such as Meta Platforms Inc's Facebook and Instagram are also blocked by China's "Great Firewall."
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