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Thread which points up the dilemma of ad-dependent orgs in a world where authoritarian governments can buy ads too.— Charles Arthur (@charlesarthur) August 18, 2019
It will sound trite, but imagine 1936-8 with social networks, taking ads from anyone to make unverified propaganda claims. https://t.co/Fdzt69iwYC
At least the ads Xinhua ran in the last 7 days are public thanks to the ad transparency center: https://t.co/snFthh0waP— Luca Hammer (@luca) August 18, 2019
Many ads were removed because they violated Twitter Ads policies.
I once again ask Twitter to make targeting and budgets of all ads public. pic.twitter.com/0ocUMGkTaj
Twitter (like Facebook) has long taken Chinese government money in exchange for propaganda as ads, but China’s use of Twitter to pump out anti-Hong Kong protest messages is disturbing— Jon Russell (@jonrussell) August 19, 2019
Twitter is profiting from, and part of, a global disinformation war https://t.co/LU7Qx6coKt
What China is doing is clear. If these peaceful, extremely self-disciplined protesters who enjoy the clear backing of the overwhelming majority of Hong Kongers can be discredited, it will be easier to crack down. What the fuck Twitter thinks it's doing is less clear.— Pinboard (@Pinboard) August 17, 2019
“The ads try to portray the protests as ‘escalating violence" and calls for "order to be restored.’ Other ads have highlighted alleged supporters of the Chinese "motherland" and hv pointed out #HongKong's economic troubles fr earlier in the yr”https://t.co/Gy3yBV8NNV#AntiELAB— #AntiELAB Fight for Hong Kong (@Fight4HongKong) August 19, 2019
It's very clear that China is using Western freedom as a tool against Western freedom.— Tim Culpan (@tculpan) August 19, 2019
But what can free and open democracies do about it?
Should they do anything about it?
What role can or should the companies play?
I don't have answers, but I'd love to hear practical ideas
@ me https://t.co/LKAWu19UVb
Spent the month of July in Hong Kong.— TV Grim Reaper (@TVGrimReaper) August 18, 2019
Never felt threatened by the protests even though they were very close.
The junior reaper followed along with one and was treated very well.
There was no "heavy toll on the social order".
Propaganda as a promoted tweet.@jack? https://t.co/t3VYX3TiAx
This is the most detailed and specific account I’ve seen yet of how Chinese state media are promoting anti-HK protest posts on #Twitter. Twitter should give serious thought to stopping this, even moreso considering the police crackdown on their users in #China earlier this year https://t.co/DQLktNIaXU— Sarah Cook (@Sarah_G_Cook) August 19, 2019
If you work at Twitter, I'm asking you on bended knee to make it stop. Don't be complicit in this.— Pinboard (@Pinboard) August 17, 2019
The Trump admin’s devastating, illegal, & unethical Title X gag rule puts birth control and other essential care at risk for millions.— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) July 16, 2019
But you can count on us to NEVER stop fighting for all those across the country in need of health care. #ProtectX https://t.co/JbIksoHflx
Was Weld right? A question for the presidential debates: "[In] his senior thesis...he argued that the commonly accepted Latin text of passages by the elegiac poet Sextus Propertius was wrong, because of mistranscription by scribes during the Middle Ages."https://t.co/FFHuitLVft— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) August 19, 2019
In 1996, Zalmay Sahib #Khalilzad proposed engagement with #Taliban on the false premise that they had made Osama #binLaden leave #Afghanistan. He apparently was a consultant for UNOCAL oil co. at the time ... take his peace-mongering with a grain of salthttps://t.co/GCXZHWXcNZ https://t.co/fBm7rB3HzF— Mohammad Taqi (@mazdaki) August 18, 2019
“China has aggressively stirred up anti-Western and nationalist sentiment using state and social media as part of an information war in the Hong Kong protests.” Twitter and Facebook used as propaganda platforms by China. https://t.co/6AXeUCBcfV via @nytimes— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) August 19, 2019
Twitter alleging PRC state manipulation of a western social media platform. No reason to think these capabilities are or will remain limited to Hong Kong. Appears to share commonalities with Russian tactics. Some initial takeaways from Twitter's data dump: https://t.co/wZcHylEAJf— Matt Schrader (@tombschrader) August 19, 2019
Big story just now: Twitter and Facebook jointly take down a network of Chinese forged accounts attacking Hong Kong, both (!) linking the activity to the Chinese government—note the remarkably crude, vile content— Thomas Rid (@RidT) August 19, 2019
BREAKING — @Twitter announces that 900+ accounts originating in China “deliberately and specifically attempt[ed] to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy... of the protest movement,” calling it a “state-backed operation.” https://t.co/hG2m7SOI4M— j.d. durkin (@jiveDurkey) August 19, 2019
Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube should BAN all State-backed propaganda sources in china. It’s clear that these 200,000 accounts were set up by the “state” of china.Why allow xinhua, global times, china daily, or any others to continue to act? #BANthemALL https://t.co/YZa5r0NTET— Kyle Bass (@Jkylebass) August 19, 2019
Twitter taking down 936 fake accounts "attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground." Calls it a "coordinated state-backed operation." https://t.co/xHRXfZO87b— Sarah Frier (@sarahfrier) August 19, 2019
Twitter has suspended nearly 950 accounts originating from mainland China that were “deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement.” https://t.co/nZ3wAPavCw— Sadanand Dhume (@dhume) August 19, 2019
Twitter says it has suspended ~200,000 accounts it believes were linked to the People's Republic of China and a campaign "to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy/political positions of protest movement on the ground."https://t.co/0rbWTejAX5— Andrea Woo | 鄔瑞楓 (@AndreaWoo) August 19, 2019
Looks like the Chinese op on Twitter was a big attempt. Almost 1000 active accounts, plus 200k spammy ones preemptively taken down.— Ben Nimmo (@benimmo) August 19, 2019
Main focus: #HongKongprotests. "We have reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation."https://t.co/re3sopadBC
Twitter says it proactively suspended 200,000 accounts from China before they were "substantially active."— Jane Lytvynenko ??♀️??♀️??♀️ (@JaneLytv) August 19, 2019
Twitter's also disclosing 936 accounts originating from China that were created to "sow political discord in Hong Kong."
The company today announced a policy change that will bar such activity -- in the form of promoted tweets from state media orgs -- hours after an inquiry from The Intercept about Xinjiang & an earlier controversy over propaganda related to Hong Kong. https://t.co/gKynXNG3yp— Ryan Gallagher (@rj_gallagher) August 19, 2019
Updating our advertising policies on state media https://t.co/geNA0xcs1k we will not accept advertising from state-controlled news media entities. Any affected accounts will be free to continue to use Twitter to engage in public conversation, just not our advertising products.— Bill Bishop (@niubi) August 19, 2019
Good moves by @Twitter:— Defending Democracy (@DefendDemocracy) August 19, 2019
? Disclosing & suspending China state-backed #InfoOps re #HongKongProtests https://t.co/NvYI9E2sVq
? No longer accepting advertising from state-controlled #propaganda outlets. Bye bye to promoted tweets RT_com, Sputnik, etc?https://t.co/0sYyJkWZoa pic.twitter.com/ou77Hz9Yvd
#Twitter: "Going forward, we will not accept advertising from state-controlled news #media entities. Any affected accounts will be free to continue to use Twitter to engage in public conversation, just not our advertising products": https://t.co/7QZSeXlvhz #ethics #internet #tech— Internet Ethics (@IEthics) August 19, 2019
Facebook just announced their removals. They said they've taken down 5 accounts, 7 pages, and 3 groups. Much less than Twitter.— Jane Lytvynenko ??♀️??♀️??♀️ (@JaneLytv) August 19, 2019
Facebook's announcement also doesn't make any data on the activity available, unlike Twitter.
America hears the people of Hong Kong.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 18, 2019
President @realDonaldTrump: It is unacceptable that you are not standing up to President Xi as he intensifies his crackdown on democratic rights in Hong Kong.
The Chinese Communist Party must face consequences.https://t.co/QisBAgNdyo
This demonstration today with tens of thousands of protesters was banned by the Hong Kong police. The protestors ignored the ban. Laws shd be just. Unjust laws shd be defied. If our fathers had obeyed all of Smith unjust laws we would still be in Rhodesia!https://t.co/WFiCZAOB6F— Siphosami Malunga (@SiphoMalunga) August 18, 2019
Hong Kong pro-democracy "organizers estimated at least 1.7 million people had turned out — nearly one in four of the total population of more than seven million." But Xi Jinping claims that Chinese people don't want democracy. https://t.co/f2G6lnZquB pic.twitter.com/YBhu75ZJu6— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) August 18, 2019
“I came here for the future of #HongKong and the next generation of #HongKong. The government has not responded to our demands...I have come out to march many times, and I will keep coming out if the government continues to not answer us.” @hrw_chinese https://t.co/EYx7qAadyi— Sophie Richardson (@SophieHRW) August 19, 2019
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Twitter has removed 936 accounts and suspended approximately 200,000 that its investigation found illegitimate, reporting a “state-backed information operation” originating in the People’s Republic of China against the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement.https://t.co/zLopITGSQs— World Ethical Data Forum (@WEDFglobal) August 20, 2019
#HongKong #China #AntiExtraditionLaw #InformationWarfare— Taiwan Security Research 臺灣安全研究 (@taiwan_security) August 20, 2019
Twitter and Facebook have removed more than 1,000 accounts and suspended thousands of others tied to a campaign by the Chinese government against protesters in Hong Kong.https://t.co/XbsFGc1oS4
Twitter blocks state-controlled media outlets from #advertising on its social network— ??????? ????????? ?????? (@Digitalmstream) August 19, 2019
'Policy announced hours after identifying an information operation involving hundreds of accounts linked to Chinahttps://t.co/wk9CsY0xPT via @TechCrunch#Technology #Twitter #socialmedia #tech pic.twitter.com/ykiluttfHY
Twitter found 936 accounts from China that "were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground." @kateconger https://t.co/vuEz1vXoy0— Steven Lee Myers (@stevenleemyers) August 19, 2019
People of the world need to wake up and see what China is doing to Hong Kong. They were supposed to enjoy sovereignty for many more years yet are NOT living up to their word. This is going to happen everywhere soon enough. https://t.co/RCenQAZAQV— Brantly from the Burgh (@BrantlyFrmBurgh) August 20, 2019
Twitter suspended 936 accounts, as well as 200,000 bots, while Facebook only suspended five accounts. Guess who I think is more serious about addressing the problem? NYT: Facebook and Twitter Say China Is Spreading Disinformation in Hong Kong https://t.co/rc0f3X8ffi— James Mulvenon (@jmulvenon) August 20, 2019
#Facebook & #Twitter just removed a first set of accounts, groups & pages linked to #China that were peddling #disinformation. China's target? #HongKong protesters. Twitter said it would ban promoted tweets from Chinese-backed media from its platform. https://t.co/7r6WwltWFM— Siim Kumpas (@SiimKumpas) August 20, 2019
Twitter has cut and preserved nearly 1k disinformation accounts from PRC "deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground"https://t.co/w60EDOiPFG— (((Alexander Reid Ross))) (@areidross) August 19, 2019
This afternoon, Twitter and Facebook announced they identified and took down a significant disinformation campaign backed by the Chinese government and aimed at undermining the legitimacy of the protests in Hong Kong. Twitter removed 200,000+ accounts.https://t.co/PSkF7jcLOa— Cindy Otis (@CindyOtis_) August 19, 2019
.@twitter finally does something right and suspends 936 (!) accounts that participated in a Chinese misinformation campaign on the Hong Kong #antiELAB protests (+ preemptively suspended 200k more accounts before they could become active). This is huge. https://t.co/e8DiQrkXo2— Katharin Tai 戴愷琳 (@Whitey_chan) August 19, 2019
Twitter says it will no longer accept advertising from state-controlled news media entities, as a global approach that will be enforced across our entire business.— Negar Mortazavi (@NegarMortazavi) August 20, 2019
Does this also apply to US government media outlets, VOA, RFE/RL, Alhurra and others? https://t.co/32FMD1lVdp
Twitter followed up this takedown with another major announcement: Twitter will no longer accept advertising from state-controlled (either financially or editorially) news media. Presumably, this should apply to RT, Sputnik, Xinhua, etc.https://t.co/8kwSfWHkf5— Cindy Otis (@CindyOtis_) August 19, 2019
I'm not sure what this says about the low expectations I have for social media and regular media *cough* NYT *cough* WaPo taking money from Chinese state-run media, but I was honestly surprised when Twitter said they weren't going to do it anymore. https://t.co/xYzswaABIr— Shelley Zhang (@shelzhang) August 20, 2019
.@facebook removed pages, groups & accounts “involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a small network that originated in China and focused on Hong Kong... our investigation found links to individuals associated with the Chinese government.” https://t.co/HspjQD3lO7— Laurel Chor (@laurelchor) August 20, 2019
In Canada, concerns about online Chinese foreign influence have centred around Chinese language apps like “we chat”. Most focus is on in-person operations. To my mind, this is one of the first exposures of a campaign of this nature by China. #cdnfp https://t.co/VkS56nQsX7— Stephanie Carvin (@StephanieCarvin) August 20, 2019
@facebook:— #AntiELAB Fight for Hong Kong (@Fight4HongKong) August 20, 2019
//Today, we removed seven Pages, three Groups and five Facebook accounts involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a small network that originated in China and focused on Hong Kong.//https://t.co/cjEjjoBqrq#AntiELAB #HongKong #HK
Cool that Facebook and Twitter teamed up for this takedown. But let's not forget that Twitter was still selling advertising to anti-HK groups (probably the Chinese government) as late as this weekend.— Jake Williams (@MalwareJake) August 19, 2019
There was NEVER a question about who bought those ads.https://t.co/VYpOrkmN1O
The Facebook activity follows standard disinformation operating procedure - accounts pose as news, seed environment to build audience, emotive content to shape sentiment, then harvest audience off into external disinfo ecosystem (6/9) https://t.co/XioEwn8nzi— Dr Jake Wallis (@JakeWallis_ASPI) August 20, 2019
#HongKong, rightly so, taking up a lot of space in today’s @nytimes (the home delivery version). Here’s a link to the story: https://t.co/Moh1Qd98Jk @austinramzy @zhonggg Eye-catching advert to the side. #HongKongProtests #antiELAB pic.twitter.com/gmo7HKWnfw— Kris Olds (@GlobalHigherEd) August 19, 2019
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