The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) released a report of an analysis conducted on how CCP officials and its army of Internet police used social media to spread disinformation about the true situation of Uyghurs in Xinjiang in an attempt to disprove the Chinese regime’s ethnic cleansing in the region.
The report analyzes in detail the increasing activity of Chinese Communist regime officials using Facebook, Twitter and Tik Tok platforms to spread fake news and videos depicting the ‘happy life’ of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and also to attack journalists, researchers and politicians who have pressed the CCP over abuses committed against Uyghurs.
” The Chinese Government leverages a range of covert and overt actors to shape narratives on US social media platforms, including its diplomats on Twitter, state-owned media accounts, pro-CCP influencers and coordinated inauthentic networks. In tandem, those entities amplify misleading narratives and disseminate disinformation,” the ASPI report asserts.
Tactics used on Facebook and Twitter for example include creating fake accounts of either individuals or media outlets that create video content or phrases to disprove reports of human rights violations in Xinjiang and then Chinese officials use their official accounts to promote that disinformation on a larger scale.
According to ASPI the CCP is adapting its tactics and stopped using state media, such as Xinhua.net, China Global Television Network (CGTN) and Global Times as the general public recognizes them as mouthpieces for its propaganda, and instead focuses now on using unknown media, directly funded by the regime, to produce content that replicates its official narrative, thus trying to give it more credibility than a Chinese state media publication.
The Trump factor
ASPI noted the significant difference in the pressure the Chinese Communist regime received over the genocide in Xinjiang during Donald Trump’s tenure because the focus of Trump’s foreign policy was on religious freedom beyond the trade relationship.
In its last year in the White House, the Trump administration called the crackdown on Uighurs a genocide, banned all products from Xinjiang province, and imposed several sanctions on officials and companies linked to human rights abuses, in what were the most aggressive measures taken by an administration against the CCP.
As a result, the European and Canadian parliaments also issued resolutions condemning the Chinese regime for its treatment of the Uighurs.
“In 2018, the Twitter accounts of Xinhua News, the China Daily, the China Global Television Network (CGTN) and the Global Times were the top four accounts that accumulated the most likes for tweets mentioning Xinjiang. But, by 2020, the official Twitter account of the then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo received the most likes for tweets mentioning Xinjiang.,” the report explains.
However, on Facebook, the official accounts of CCP officials had the most interaction when the hashtag “Xinjiang” was analyzed.
A similar case occurred with a senior WHO official who used a report from a completely unknown media outlet that disproved a very important fact at the beginning of the pandemic.
Gabby Stern, WHO’s director of communication, retweeted a GrayZone report on July 20 that denied that Taiwan had warned WHO about Chinese human-to-human transmission of the virus, affirming the CCP’s position.
However, Taiwan closed its borders in December at the same time it warned WHO about human-to-human transmission of the virus.
On January 14, the WHO issued a statement that there was no human-to-human transmission of the virus, subsequently generating a pandemic that spread around the world.
Had it been transparent, China and WHO could have avoided this tragedy to some extent.
While the report notes that many of these fake accounts have been shut down on Twitter and Facebook, the effect of misleading the public through the use of these malicious tactics served its purpose to some extent.
Once again ‘in broad daylight’ the ASPI report makes it clear that censorship by the Silicon Valley giants is selective, in this case perverse because it assisted the CCP in covering up a genocide of millions of people, and its ultimate goal, like the mainstream media, is to hide the truth and lull people to sleep.