Social media platforms are at the forefront of the China-West narrative battle
US: Long tied to Beijing’s outlandish propaganda campaign and insisting on “telling China’s story well,” praise for China’s achievements on Western social media platforms now shows that the West is grappling with the world conflict. I’m not averse to playing secret games of opinion.
The US and UK were behind covert influence operations that used more than 200 social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms to suppress voices, according to a recent report. published by social media analytics firm Graphica and Stanford Internet Observatory. should have. The legend of nations including China in war.
Misleading accounts promoting pro-Western narratives in the Middle East and Central Asia have been shut down following the platform’s investigation.
The accounts were removed for ‘platform manipulation and spamming’ and ‘coordinated unauthenticated behavior’, according to the newspaper, which said Twitter and Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, believed the accounts were part of pro western online . Influence operations that focused on Russia’s actions but also criticized China on issues ranging from Xinjiang to business practices.
According to the report, published last month, Twitter linked the origin of accounts to the US and UK, while Meta claimed that the origin of accounts on its platform was American.
According to the report, “unauthenticated practices for conducting online influence operations” were uncovered through a “qualitative review of sample content associated with each account.” These included posting memes and instant videos, impersonating independent media, and creating fake people with computer-generated faces.
It would be risky for the United States to wage a pro-Western influence campaign, according to Jessica Brandt, director of policy at the Brookings Institution’s Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology Initiative.
He said Washington really needed to resist the urge to fight the manipulation of information because it would hurt Washington’s moral authority. “The pollution of this space will ultimately harm us more than our competitors, because democracy depends on a healthy information space to thrive.”
Graphica and Stanford’s analysis is the latest evidence that the United States and China are engaged in a narrative conflict as they struggle to increase their influence on the world stage.
During the 2019 protests in Hong Kong, Twitter shut down nearly a thousand accounts it said were based in mainland China for spreading false information. In order to “undermine the legitimacy and political position of the protest movement on the ground”, it was claimed that they were linked to a “major state-backed information campaign”.
As reported last month, Twitter and Meta shut down pro-Western accounts and groups that had been active for at least five years. Criticizing China for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, he promoted the interests of the United States and its allies.
In recent years, allegations of human rights violations in Xinjiang have been strongly criticized and sanctioned by Washington and its allies.
A recent report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also looked at them. The report, which was released three months after then-high commissioner Michelle Bachelet visited Xinjiang in May, found “serious human rights violations” against Uyghurs and ” other predominantly Muslim communities”.
The pro-Western comments and posts are part of a narrative conflict between the United States and China, which is trying to use content manipulation on Western social media platforms to establish dominance in the world and establish a friendly international order. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the narrative conflict has escalated as the two nations blame each other for being the source of the virus.
In this effort, the merits of their respective political systems and the framework of their relations with smaller countries are also discussed.
According to Chong Jae Ian, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the National University of Singapore, China’s influence operation is larger and more effective.
China is now less cautious of fuzzy reality and a distorted version of it when dealing with political debates, such as the Hong Kong protests and the origins of COVID-19, where baseless speculative theory is overused,” he said. “Unlike a decade ago when Chinese officials and affiliated media expressed opposition on certain political issues, for example, territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
China’s diplomatic strategy is to “tell China’s story well” to use state media and private actors to strengthen and innovate external propaganda.
An analysis of Chinese state-controlled media and diplomatic accounts and how they have been used to expand China’s influence operations on Twitter has been published by the University of Oxford in an article on China’s public diplomacy operations last year. The newspaper called these accounts “superspreading” — fake accounts that quickly retweet state-backed content — inauthentic accounts that received a lot of engagement from diplomats and state media accounts.
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