Chinese bots have flocked to Twitter since the beginning of the coronavirus public relations effort emanating from Beijing.
In the past few days especially, brand new “bot”-like accounts following zero people, and being followed back by no one, have flooded Twitter threads attacking the United States of America, President Trump, and many who believe the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) should have to answer tough questions about the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The accounts appear to be flocking to defend Chinese Communist Party state actors such as Lijian Zhao – China’s “Information Department” Deputy Director General, and Lin Songtian, China’s Ambassador to South Africa.
Thousands of new accounts – many the same attacking the President and the United States – were created in March 2020 and have taken to “liking” and “retweeting” CCP propagandists such as Zhao and Songtian, including on stories such as: “COVID-19: Further Evidence that the Virus Originated in the US”.
This article is very much important to each and every one of us. Please read and retweet it. COVID-19: Further Evidence that the Virus Originated in the US. https://t.co/LPanIo40MR
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) March 13, 2020
The article links to a conspiracy theory published in an outlet called GlobalResearch.ca, a Canadian-based site which often disseminates anti-Western propaganda. The Chinese bots also promote the website separately.
Other recent articles on ‘Global Research’ include:
- Western Anti-Chinese Propaganda Exaggerates Coronavirus Danger, Creates Panic;
- Coronavirus Is Becoming a Western Excuse for Sinophobia and “China-Bashing”;
- America’s “Hybrid War” against China has Entered a New Phase;
- COVID-19 Coronavirus: A Fake Pandemic? Who’s Behind It?;
- Coronavirus COVID-19: “Made in China” or “Made in America”?
The accounts have not been suspended and/or limited by Twitter, and neither CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, nor the rest of the political or media establishments in the Western have commented upon the surge in social media agitprop pushed by the CCP.
One can’t help but wonder if this would be the same if Russia were behind the disinformation campaign.