The below article was published by the Washington Examiner, photo credit: Alex Castro /The Verge
Twitter removed a “network of accounts that amplified Chinese Communist Party narratives related to the treatment of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang,” the company announced on Thursday.
The social media platform said it will release 2,048 accounts associated with CCP information campaigns and a total of 3,465 accounts from state-linked operations, even those from other countries such as Russia.00:17/01:04
“We believe we have a responsibility to protect the integrity of the public conversation and to offer meaningful transparency into our findings,” the company said in a blog post. “Disclosing these datasets remains core to that mission.”
A number of tweets in the dataset were directed at high-profile U.S. citizens who criticized the CCP’s policies toward the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang. Many of them used the hashtag”#StopXinjiangRumors” and argued Uyghurs were living a good life.
“Pompeo, take care of yourself we are living a very good life #StopXinjiangRumors,” a number of the tweets highlighted in the dataset said, referring to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
In 2018, Twitter began publicly sharing datasets of tweets and accounts it took down to combat state-manipulation campaigns.
The CCP is known to hire internet users to push content that favors Beijing’s politics and policies. The users make up a group known as the 50 Cent Army or Wumao. A 2017 study from Harvard estimates the group makes nearly 450 million social media posts annually.
Both the Trump and Biden administrations alleged the CCP commits cultural genocide against the Uyghurs, claiming the CPP uses a combination of forced abortion and sterilization. The CCP vehemently denies the allegations.
The CCP began detaining Uyghurs in “reeducation camps” in 2014 following several terrorist incidents in Xinjiang. The CCP claims its reeducation camps are intended to educate the Uyghurs away from radical Islamic terrorism. Some analysts have speculated that part of the CCP’s motivation is to curb a separatism movement in the region.