Home News Chinese Twitter accounts are flooding searches for protests with porn and games

Chinese Twitter accounts are flooding searches for protests with porn and games

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In China, where Western social networks are banned, censorship is rampant on — widely used — domestic platforms such as WeChat or Sina Weibo. To access it from China, as well as foreign media that are blocked on the Chinese Internet, you must use a VPN (anti-filter software).

But over the past two or three days, when demonstrations have erupted on a scale unseen since 1989 against the Chinese Communist Party’s anti-Covid policy, a new weapon appears to have been used to prevent or slow the search for information on protest movements: Twitter’s Chinese-language search, The name of a major city in the country (Beijing, Shanghai, etc.) leads to a large number of spam (spam for advertising purposes).

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These tweets offer services of prostitution, online gaming or pornography, a way Chinese authorities appear to discourage searching for information about the ongoing protests.

Read also> China, the high-tech dictatorship

Automated accounts

These jamming messages come mostly from dormant accounts, with little or no activity, which in recent days have begun to write in large quantities – sometimes several dozen tweets per hour, which betray automated accounts, written by bots (bots). More than 70% of these spam accounts have recently started frenzied activity, notice “Air Transporter,” a Twitter data analyst specializing in China.

This is not the first time that accounts suspected of being linked to governments have used this type of method, according to the “Washington Post”, which quoted a recently departed employee of Twitter. But previously, the goal was to discredit a person or small group by naming them in prostitution advertisements. current campaign “It appears that there are bigger holes to be filled.”according to this former employee. All analysts of Chinese influence operations have disappeared..

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The social network set out to fight this act of blocking access to information. A US expert on China told the Post that it was found “50% porn, 50% protests” When searching for china in twitter.

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