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