China

News of Massive National Outcry Remains Hidden Online

China has slammed the door on residents for a new COVID lock down. Citizens can’t take it anymore so they’re protesting but you won’t find that news on Twitter. The system is being flooded by porn bots. News of widespread protests in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities in China are nearly hidden by bots. The Chinese Communist party’s “Zero COVID” policy now has a little more blood on its hands.

China in lock down

Only 38,000 people tested positive out of a country of more than 1.4 billion. Their lock down has lasted over 100 days. Travel has been limited.

Some provinces have been in lock down for over three months, extending the pandemic into its third year. Residents have been calling for the party in power to resign.

Twitter accounts in China

A student journalist named Mengyu Dong showed images of accounts that had been dormant for years only to be reactivated once the protests broke out. Some accounts were created as far back as 2015.  They were reactivated and  flooded the system in 24 hours.

Several people spoke on condition of anonymity. One was a government contractor, the other a China expert. “Fifty percent porn, 50 percent protests. Once I got 3 to 4 scrolls into the feed it was all porn.”

China can escalate

Government connected accounts can be used like this. A person who once worked in the system said, “This is a known problem that our team was dealing with manually, aside from automations we put in place.” This previous employee added that the massive tweet campaign “was another exhibit where there are now even larger holes to fill” once the “China influence operations and analysts at Twitter all resigned.”

A current employee said the company was aware of the problem. Twitter CEO Elon Musk mentioned about a “degredation” from an old third party tool that blocked accounts with no rate limit. Musk said it should be fixed now.

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