Disinfo campaign blames Maine lobsters for starting Covid…

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In mid-September, Marcel Schliebs, a disinformation researcher at the University of Oxford who had been tracking messaging that Chinese diplomats and state media spread on Twitter for 18 months, spotted the emergence of a surprising coronavirus origin theory.

Zha Liyou, the Chinese consul general in Kolkata, India, tweeted an unfounded claim that Covid-19 could have been imported to China from the United States through a batch of Maine lobsters shipped to a seafood market in Wuhan in November 2019. It marks the latest in a series of theories that have been pushed by pro-China accounts since the start of the pandemic.

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With some further digging, Schliebs uncovered a network of more than 550 Twitter accounts, which he shared with NBC News, spreading a nearly identical message, translated into multiple languages — including English, Spanish, French, Polish, Korean and even Latin — at similar times each day between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. China Standard Time.

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www.nbcnews.com/news/china-linked-disinformation-campaign-blames-covid-maine-lobsters-rcna3236

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