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China-Linked Disinformation Campaign Blames Covid-19 On US Lobsters

October 25th, 2021 13:12

UK media is report­ing that a Chi­na-linked net­work of social media accounts is claim­ing that Covid-19 could have been import­ed to Chi­na from the Unit­ed States through a batch of Maine lob­sters shipped to a seafood mar­ket in Wuhan. Accord­ing to a report in The Independent:

Octo­ber 22, 2021 A dis­in­for­ma­tion researcher has uncov­ered a net­work of accounts mak­ing the claim that Covid-19 could have been import­ed to Chi­na from the Unit­ed States through a batch of Maine lob­sters shipped to a seafood mar­ket in Wuhan in Novem­ber 2019.  In mid-Sep­tem­ber, Zha Liy­ou, the Chi­nese con­sul gen­er­al in Kolkata, India, also tweet­ed the the­o­ry, one of many shared by pro-Chi­na accounts since the start of the Covid out­break.  Mar­cel Schliebs, a dis­in­for­ma­tion researcher at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford, said he found more than 550 Twit­ter accounts spread­ing a near­ly iden­ti­cal mes­sage trans­lat­ed into mul­ti­ple lan­guages and post­ed each morn­ing by Chi­na Stan­dard Time, reports NBC News.  “Attri­bu­tion is real­ly dif­fi­cult,” said Mr Schliebs, adding: “But we can see there’s a coor­di­nat­ed effort, and that it’s a pro-Chi­nese nar­ra­tive.”  Chi­nese media out­lets have repeat­ed­ly sug­gest­ed that Covid may have orig­i­nat­ed from frozen-food imports.

Read the rest here.

The report notes that this is the third or fourth redi­rec­tion effort Chi­nese offi­cials have made to blame the Covid out­break on the US. We have exten­sive­ly cov­ered China’s var­i­ous attempts to spread Covid-19 con­spir­a­cy theories.