Australian Government Must Fight Foreign Interference on Social Media: Contact Us

Prior to the 2022 federal elections, the Australian Government is urged to act swiftly and establish an organization whose mission is to address foreign interference promulgated on social media.

Large-scale collaborative disinformation campaigns led by the Russian government and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have permeated platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, and YouTube, many to screen for fraudulent account swaths. I am working hard.

However, other forms of interference, such as social media influencers paid by Beijing to create content to support the communist government, have not been checked.

This recommendation forms one of several by the Senate to investigate the risks posed by social media-led foreign intervention in Australian democracy.

The Commission also established a clear path for social media platforms to report suspicious foreign interference after video-sharing giant TikTok has revealed that there is currently no clear system for doing so. Recommended.

“Given the imminent federal elections, it is imperative that governments establish clear policies and procedures for social media platforms to refer to potential foreign interference for consideration by the relevant government sector or body. “The report (pdf) Said.

TikTok ByteDance
The TikTok logo will appear on your smartphone in front of the displayed ByteDance logo in this figure taken on November 27, 2019. Chinese technology company ByteDance owns TikTok. (Daddle Bitch / Reuters)

The report found few documented cases of online political intervention targeting Australia, but “Australia’s elections and public debates were not and will not be the subject of similar attempts. It’s naive to imagine. “

According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Russia’s scope of interference covers Europe and the Americas, but Beijing has a set of secrets that seek to influence policies and public opinion in Australia and other parts of India. Is the main culprit in the movement of. -Pacific.

ABC-Fairfax Research In 2019, political contributions made by individuals belonging to the CCP were released to both major federal parties. That amount amounts to millions of dollars.

CCP-linked actors have hacked the Australian Parliamentary computer network at least twice on separate occasions. 2011 And in 2019, we will allow the Communist government access to the content of confidential emails from many members of parliament.

But submit (pdf) Jake Wallis, senior analyst at ASPI, said seeding false information via social media has become a faster and more effective weapon in foreign governments’ soft power approaches.

“Authoritarian states have identified influential operations as cheap and effective mechanisms for influencing and undermining liberal democracies,” Wallis said.

Beijing’s social media false alarm mechanism

Many reports shed light on the Chinese administration’s use of social media platforms to launch secret propaganda campaigns and disinformation by various means.

One such way is for CCP to spend money on YouTube influencers to promote parrots, as revealed by YouTube video producer Matthew Tye, a Chinese expert and also known online as “laowhy86.” Included exposure that you paid.

Tye, who lived in China for 10 years, video He was told to make a video suggesting that the CCP virus had occurred in the United States.

Tye said, “The Chinese government has been offered thousands of dollars to disseminate false information about COVID to make white people say,’COVID did not come from China, so ask about this.'” Said.

He said its purpose was to upset hundreds of thousands of people and make them believe in the story of the Chinese Communist Party.

Epoch Times Photo
After reopening in Wuhan, China on April 8, 2020, police officers wearing face masks are guarding Tianhe Airport. (Hector Retamal / AFP via Getty Images)

Wallis, an ASPI analyst, also noted that CCP officials were able to shape public discourse, even though citizens were not given it, thanks to the freedom provided by social media platforms.

“China is likewise leaning towards Western social media platforms to shape the information environment.”

“It’s not just ambassadors, embassies and state media, but also state-owned enterprises that rely on Western social media platforms, especially Twitter affordances, that are inaccessible to Chinese citizens as a result of direct censorship.”

“This allows the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to actively shape the western information environment while tightly controlling its population.”

However, in addition to false information about the origin of the CCP virus, ASPI also revealed that many of the same YouTube creators are involved. Deny the Uighur massacre in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region..

Other methods that CCP uses to enhance its promotional activities include creating fake social media accounts to amplify false information by disseminating the aforementioned material.

It also includes an army of paid online commenters who post pro-Chinese messages over the Internet, with an estimated number of posts reaching hundreds of millions each year, also known as “wumao”. “Cent” in connection with early rumors that individuals will be paid RMB 50 (US $ 0.17) per post.

Daniel Kumerev


Daniel Khmelev is a Perth-based Australian reporter working on energy, technology and politics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, physics and computer science. Contact him at [email protected]