As China’s official coronavirus case count nears zero, it has ramped up disinformation campaigns and attacks against the United States’ own coronavirus response.
As China’s official coronavirus case count nears zero, it has ramped up disinformation campaigns and attacks against the United States’ own coronavirus response. t.co/KQH6Fxl3fo
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) May 12, 2020
An army of bot accounts linked to an alleged Chinese government-backed propaganda campaign is spreading disinformation on social media about coronavirus and other topics, including an exiled businessman, according to a London-based researcher.
The accounts have been used to promote content attacking critics of the Chinese government and to spread conspiracy theories blaming the U.S. for the origins of virus, according to Benjamin Strick, who specializes in analyzing information operations on social media websites.
Between April 25 and May 3, Strick said he identified more than 1,000 accounts on Twitter that were associated with the Chinese disinformation effort, as well as more than 50 different pages on Facebook. He estimated that 300 or 400 new Twitter accounts were joining the network each day, as part of the Chinese campaign.
“The network has evolved and is still growing,” said Strick, in an interview. “I believe it’s a state-backed Chinese campaign.”