According to a new report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), the Chinese Communist Party is trying to influence the international perception of the Chinese administration’s policies in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region through social media.
All campaigns featuring Uighur videos about being happy with life in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, promoting Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region as a tourist destination, and praising Beijing’s policy towards Uighurs are all linked to Twitter’s new hashtag #StopXinjiangRumors. It has been.
In New report with title “#StopXinjiangRumors: CCP’s Decentralized Disinformation Campaign” ASPI analyzed CCP’s online disinformation campaign to influence discussions about Xinjiang and distract attention from international criticisms of human rights abuses against Uighurs. ..
Despite abundant evidence and international criticism, the CCP has been constantly denied accusations of committing human rights abuses against Uighurs in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. This includes forced labor, mass detention, sterilization, and suspicion of slaughter.
The study reveals that a number of fraudulent accounts, including those used to share pornographic material, are currently being used to support CCP whitewashing efforts in multiple languages. became.
NS report We analyzed two datasets deleted by Twitter, “Xinjiang Online” (CNHU) (2,046 accounts and 31,269 tweets) and “Changyu Culture” (CNCC) (112 accounts and 35,924 tweets).
Twitter has attributed both datasets to the Chinese government. The latter is especially linked to a company called Changyu Culture, which is connected to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Government. The #StopXinjiangRumors hashtag works prominently on both datasets.
The main functions of the dataset are:
- Flood the internet to “fill” important content on platforms such as YouTube.
- Promote discussions about their “happy” life in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and support for “recommendations” from Uighurs condemning allegations of human rights abuses.
- Content promotion from Western social media influencers in support of the CCP story about Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
- Active interaction between network accounts and accounts of CCP staff such as Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying.
- Cross-platform activity with videos from YouTube, Douyin (Chinese version of TikTok), and links to CCP state media.
- Use of reused spam accounts. Some of them have previously tweeted about Korean dramas and pornographic material, and may also use automation.
The first dataset, CNHU, shared many videos originating from Douyin and worked to promote CCP’s state media such as China Daily, China Global Television Network (CGTN), and Global Times.
This dataset contains numerous counter-arguments to international criticisms of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region’s policies, including phrases commonly found in state propaganda, such as “Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is a wonderful land.” ..
“As we pointed out, the network was active in health-related issues such as life expectancy and population growth,” reads the report. “The Chinese Communist Party’s policies in the region are designed as counterterrorism as a way to justify action, but negative information and testimony of abuse are simply denied or reported. “
The second dataset, CNCC, is linked to Changyu Culture, a company associated with the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Government, funding the production of videos depicting Uighurs supporting the CCP’s policies in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The network contained a large number of reused spam and pornographic accounts. He also focused on targeting former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Twitter has not announced the methodology in which the dataset was selected, but provided report authors with advanced access to the two datasets.
“The dataset may not give a complete picture of China’s state-related information operations on Twitter,” he reads the report.
ASPI is a defense and strategic policy think tank established by the Australian Government for ideas on Australia’s defense, security, and strategic policy choices.