Meta Exposes Extensive Chinese Network Spreading Manipulative Content
Meta has announced the removal of thousands of fake accounts from China, posing as Americans and attempting to disseminate manipulative content related to Western aid to Ukraine, sharp political issues in the United States, abortion topics, and cultural differences.
This was reported by the BBC.
Meta does not link the deletion of profiles to official individuals in Beijing but stated that there is an increase in the number of similar profiles, especially on the eve of the 2024 US elections.
According to the company, the Chinese bot network had over 4,700 accounts and used profiles and names stolen from users worldwide. The accounts also shared and spread each other's content, with some messages taken from the social network X.
Sometimes fake profiles simply copied posts from American politicians, including former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, Reps Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan, and others.
However, such accounts did not demonstrate a specific ideological consistency. For instance, one Chinese account could repost statements from politicians supporting abortions, while another bot posted an alternative position on its page.
"It's unclear whether this approach was designed to amplify partisan tensions, build audiences among these politicians' supporters, or to make fake accounts sharing authentic content appear more genuine," the company's report stated.
Among other findings, two smaller geographic subgroups were identified on the network. One is Chinese and focuses on India and Tibet, while the other is located in Russia and spreads manipulative English-language posts about Russia's war in Ukraine to undermine international support for Kyiv.
Recall that the European Commission recently asked Meta to report on the measures the platform takes to prevent sexual harassment of minors. Now Meta must provide information on the functioning of recommendation algorithms and tools for spreading potentially harmful content by December 22, 2023. Similar requests have been received by other tech giants X and TikTok.