BREAKING: OFFICIAL REPORT: Facebook And Twitter Recommended Chinese Communist Party Propaganda On Their Sites

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The Associated Press and the Oxford Internet Institute, a department at Oxford University, conducted a seven-month investigation and discovered that China's rise on Twitter has been fueled by an army of fake accounts that have retweeted Chinese diplomats and state media tens of thousands of times, covertly promoting disinformation that can reach hundreds of millions of people all over the world - even without disclosing the government disinformation content's origins.

According to the report, platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are failing to suspend and tag thousands of bot accounts connected to the Chinese Communist Party's disinformation efforts.

From June to January, more than half the Liu Xiaoming's (a former Chinese diplomat to the UK who recently stepped down) retweets came from accounts suspended by Twitter for breaking the platform's rules, which ban manipulation.

Further, more than one out of every ten retweets obtained by 189 Chinese diplomats during the time period came from accounts that Twitter had suspended by March 1st.

However, Twitter's suspensions had no impact on the pro-China disinformation system.

The China Media Project, a Hong Kong-based research institute, found that transparency labels make a big difference in fighting rampant Chinese Communist Party misinformation. They found that, after August 2020, when the site began flagging Chinese Communist Party news outlets as state-affiliated media and stopped amplifying and recommending their content, users liked and shared fewer tweets by the disinformation outlets.

"We need the labels," said David Bandurski, project director for the China Media Project, but he cautioned that they risk portraying all Chinese media outlets, even the legitimate ones, with the same broad stroke. This would include outlets like Caixin that have managed to preserve some freedom from the Chinese Communist Party.

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