January 29, 2023

KEY POINTS

  • 3 China-based networks tweeted posts that have been pro-Trump and promoted conspiracy theories: Report
  • One China-based account claimed Obama ‘is a lizard one who is a member of the Illuminati’
  • One of many Iran-based accounts additionally endorsed U.S. midterm candidates, says the report

The networks of quite a few China- and Iran-based operations making an attempt to affect the upcoming U.S. midterm elections have been shut down by Twitter, in line with a report.

The six networks have been “amplifying politically polarizing subjects,” together with conspiracies concerning the 2020 presidential elections being rigged and criticism of members of the transgender neighborhood, The Washington Put up reported, citing knowledge obtained from Twitter.

At the least three networks taken down by Twitter have been primarily based in China however presupposed to be situated in the US, the report mentioned. One of many networks included 22 consumer accounts that tweeted over 250,000 posts that have been usually pro-Trump or promoted conspiracy theories.

One China-based account, which glided by the identify Extremely MAGA BELLA Scorching Babe, posted a tweet claiming that former President Barack Obama is a “lizard one who is a member of the Illuminati.” The Washington Put up noticed a replica of the tweet archived by the Web Archive.

Twitter additionally eliminated three Iran-based networks claiming to be primarily based within the U.S. At the least one of many Iran-based accounts, particularly 10Votes81, additionally endorsed native candidates, in line with the report.

Twitter added that the accounts largely operated between April and October. Nevertheless, the corporate famous that it isn’t associating the exercise with any particular governments.

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Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for the Chinese language Embassy in Washington, mentioned Beijing isn’t behind the suspended accounts, including that they don’t have the “slightest curiosity” in interfering with the U.S. midterm election.

“Such accusations are fully fictitious and made out of skinny air, and the Chinese language aspect firmly objects to them,” Pengyu mentioned, as quoted by the information outlet. “China upholds the precept of non-interference in different nations’ inside affairs and we have now not the slightest curiosity to intervene within the U.S. election.”

Twitter’s current takedowns of the networks come after Fb’s father or mother firm Meta in September introduced it had disrupted and brought down a pair of “affect operations” run by China and Russia. The networks initially promoted gun legal guidelines and reproductive rights. They later promoted gun rights and anti-abortion views. A few of the posts additionally criticized President Joe Biden, as per The New York Instances.

A sign directs voters to a polling place at the Old Wilson Schoolhouse August 16, 2022 in Wilson, Wyoming ahead of primary elections leading up to the Novermber 8 midterm elections