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Pro-Chinese Influence Campaign Attempted To Mobilize Protesters In US

October 8th, 2021 11:39

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.