ChinaNovember 3 2022, 13:05 pm

Twitter Takes Down Six China and Iran-Based Influence Operations Trying to Influence US Midterm Elections; Transgender Issues Part of the Mix

US media is report­ing that Twit­ter has shut down three Chi­na-based and three Iran-based influ­ence oper­a­tions try­ing to influ­ence US pol­i­tics in the run-up to the mid-term elec­tions. Accord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton Post report, issues being pushed includ­ed “crit­i­cism of mem­bers of the trans­gen­der community:”

Novem­ber 1, 2022 Twit­ter has dis­rupt­ed three Chi­na-based oper­a­tions that were covert­ly try­ing to influ­ence Amer­i­can pol­i­tics in the months lead­ing up the midterm elec­tions by ampli­fy­ing polit­i­cal­ly polar­iz­ing top­ics, accord­ing to a trove of data released by the social media giant to researchers and The Wash­ing­ton Post. The oper­a­tions spanned near­ly 2,000 user accounts, some of which pur­port­ed to be locat­ed in the Unit­ed States, and weighed in on a wide vari­ety of hot-but­ton issues, includ­ing elec­tion-rig­ging claims about the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and crit­i­cism of mem­bers of the trans­gen­der com­mu­ni­ty. Two of the three net­works favored the U. S. right and one skewed left. At least some repeat­ed pro-Chi­na nar­ra­tives aimed at an Amer­i­can audi­ence. Twit­ter also took down three net­works that were based in Iran but often claimed to be based in the Unit­ed States or Israel, the data shows. At least one of the accounts involved in the Iran­ian efforts, 10Votes81, endorsed can­di­dates even in local races. An account named 10Votes and using the same logo as an avatar was also active on YouTube, Tik­Tok and espe­cial­ly Red­dit, said Renée DiRes­ta of Stanford’s Elec­tion Integri­ty Part­ner­ship, one of the data’s recip­i­ents. Twit­ter said in its dis­clo­sure to researchers that it was not attribut­ing the activ­i­ty to any spe­cif­ic gov­ern­ments. Twit­ter did not respond to a request for fur­ther com­ment. A spokesman for the Chi­nese Embassy in Wash­ing­ton said the coun­try was not behind the accounts that were sus­pend­ed. “Such accu­sa­tions are com­plete­ly fic­ti­tious and made out of thin air, and the Chi­nese side firm­ly objects to them,” spokesman Liu Pengyu said.

Read the rest here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) has been exten­sive­ly cov­er­ing Rus­sia-linked influ­ence oper­a­tions cen­tered on the LGBTQ community.




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