US Cybersecurity firm FireEye reported last month that a pro-Chinese government network of hundreds of inauthentic accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube attempted to mobilize protestors in the US in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. although there is no indication that these attempts motivated any real-world activity. According to the FireEye report:
September 8, 2021 In April 2021, thousands of posts in languages including English, Japanese, and Korean, images, and videos were posted across multiple platforms by accounts we assess to be part of this broader activity set that called on Asian Americans to protest racial injustices in the U.S. (Figure 10). The accounts specifically called on Asian Americans to protest on April 24 in New York City and “fight back” against the purported “rumors” caused by Dr. Li-Meng Yan, Guo Wengui, and Steve Bannon, and in some instances provided an address that they claimed Guo lived at.
Subsequently, we observed posts by accounts in the network portray the advocated April 24 New York City protest as a success, claiming that Asian Americans, other minority groups, and Caucasian protestors attended (Figure 11). Other posts claimed that these protesters were met by Guo Wengui’s “supporters”, who “violently assault[ed]” them. As part of this claim of success, we observed a manipulated image in which the face of Dr. Yan was superimposed onto a sign held by a purported protestor and shared across nearly all the social media platforms and forums that we have seen leveraged as part of this broader activity set. We identified the image to be a manipulation of a picture taken at a rally against racial discrimination that took place in Jamestown, NY, on or around April 23, 2021 (Figure 12).
Read the rest here.
Guo Wengui is an expatriate Chinese businessman who runs a disinformation network with former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, pushing anti-CCP and Covid-19 falsehoods, often aligned with US conservative talking points. Part of the disinformation network is the Rule of Law Society which published a controversial study by Chinese virologist Dr. Li-Meng Yan alleging the coronavirus was created in a Chinese lab.