A disinformation researcher has found a clear overlap on Twitter between pro-Russian propaganda pushed by inauthentic accounts and genuine Chinese officials amplifying the US bioweapons conspiracy theory. According to a Twitter thread by Marc Owen Jones (best viewed in the original tweet):
March 14, 2022 Ok so I decided to drill down more on a core component of the #biolabs fake news. What’s fascinating about this is the clear overlap between pro-Russian propaganda and genuine Chinese officials amplifying it. Read on. So first up. A core component of the biolabs story was a key piece of disinfo. Remember, for a good conspiracy, it helps to have scandal and perceived nefarious behaviour. It’s especially good if you can make it look like your adversary is hiding something! How though? Well it was fairly simple. It was reported by ‘investigative journalist’ @dgaytandzhieva around 26th Feb that the US Embassy in Kyiv had deleted documents about its biolaboratories in Ukraine. Deletion = what are you hiding?? As I have said before, this is false. The documents were never deleted. Furthermore the screenshot used by Dilyana saying ‘site can’t be reached’ appears not to be related to the Embassy webpage. In sum, this new was false, but it went viral. +12k RTs! Incidentally, when I first mentioned this Dilyana blocked me and did not qualify or delete her tweet.) Which at the very least seems unprofessional, at the most, suspicious. After Dilyana tweeted this, a number of others picked it up.
Read the full thread here.
The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) recently reported that China’s amplification of false Russian claims about the US and biological weapons labs in Ukraine shows the two countries are increasingly coordinating their disinformation efforts.
We recently reported on Russian claims that the United States was developing biological weapons in a network of labs in Ukraine. These claims have been echoed not only by China but also amplified by QAnon conspiracy theorists and far-right American political figures, including Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson.