Twitter removes 30,000 accounts promoting state-backed propaganda from China, Russia and Turkey

PUBLISHED: 11:55 12 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:55 12 June 2020

A giant portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping is carried atop a float at a parade to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

A giant portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping is carried atop a float at a parade to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

2019 Getty Images

Twitter says it has removed more than 30,000 accounts from the platform which were being used to spread state-backed propaganda linked to China, Russia and Turkey.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

It said a total of 32,242 accounts had been removed with more than 23,000 linked to China, and 1,152 linked to Russia.

The platform said the Chinese government had used their network to spread “deceptive” claims about the political situation in Hong Kong.

According to Twitter’s report, accounts linked to China were spreading “geopolitical narratives favourable to the Communist Party of China (CCP), while continuing to push deceptive narratives about the political dynamics in Hong Kong”.

The network of misinformation also included around 150,000 “amplifier accounts”, which Twitter said were used to inflate interactions on the content posted by the main accounts, falsely creating an impression of organic interest in its posts.


Have your say

Send your letters for publication to The New European by emailing letters@theneweuropean.co.uk and pick up an edition each Thursday for more comment and analysis. Find your nearest stockist here or subscribe to a print or digital edition for just £13. You can also join our readers' Facebook group to keep the discussion and debate going with thousands of fellow pro-Europeans.


You may also want to watch:

However, Twitter confirmed it had chosen not to remove the amplifier accounts as they were not a part of the core network of fake accounts.

A separate network linked to Russia has also been removed, made up of 1,152 accounts which were removed for “amplifying content in an inauthentic, coordinated manner for political ends”.

According to Twitter, the accounts were promoting President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party and attacking political dissidents.

The third network, targeting audiences in Turkey, included more than 7,000 accounts which were being used to promote positive political narratives about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The social media giant said it hoped to host an online conference later in the summer, bringing together experts, industry and government to discuss more collaboration in disrupting such networks in the future.

“Ultimately our goal is to serve the public conversation, remove bad faith actors, and to advance public understanding of these critical topics,” Twitter said.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £20

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest pro-European campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.