Twitter and Facebook claim that hundreds of fake Chinese accounts were removed from their platforms Tuesday for reportedly spreading disinformation in Hong Kong

936 state-owned, fake Chinese Twitter accounts were suspended from the platform Tuesday morning due to the speculation of a “significant state-backed information operation” in relation to the Hong Kong protests, The Washington Post reports. Facebook, on the other hand, also stated it would be removing five state-owned, Chinese accounts, seven pages, and three groups for identical reasons to the Twitter suspensions. According to The New York Times, Twitter stated that it “would ban state-backed media from promoting tweets after China Daily and other state-backed publications placed ads on its service that suggested the protesters were sponsored by Western interests and were becoming violent.” ~

This reported disinformation campaign by the Chinese government comes in response to the growing unrest in the administrative region of China known as Hong Kong. After Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997, Hong Kong became a semi-autonomous region of China and has been since that date. However, hundreds of thousands of Hong-Kong demonstrators have been protesting for an autonomous Hong Kong from Chinese rule over the last few months, all in response to an indefinitely suspended extradition bill that may have allowed Hong Kong citizens to be sent back to mainland China to face trial. According to The Washington Post, “Hong Kong police have deployed force, including in residential neighborhoods, and made more than 700 arrests to discourage further unrest” in response to the mostly peaceful protests, despite the recent violence by protesters at a local international airport. On Sunday, nearly 1.7 million people – or nearly one in four Hong Kong citizens – peacefully marched in protest of a police ban. ~

The disinformation campaign carried out by Beijing is just the latest escalation in the use of social media as a means of disinformation war. Russia, as outlined and proved in the Mueller Report, had pioneered disinformation techniques in 2015 and 2016 when it used platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other means of social media to influence the 2016 Presidential election in ways not incredibly clear. Along with Bangladesh, Iran, and Venezuela, China is just the latest country to attempt to sow discourse in their favor. ~

This is Fact Based America – WE have the FACTS. YOU have the OPINIONS. What do you think about China’s reported disinformation campaign in relation to the Hong Kong protests?

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