Chinese government flooding Twitter with porn and gambling tweets to censor protest

Chinese censoring on Twitter
Example of the useless tweets you'll see when searching for Chinese cities on Twitter

Twitter is currently experiencing a wave of nuisance content from China that is intended to censor news about the widespread protests about stringent COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

If you search for any Chinese city on Twitter using official Chinese characters (e.g., 广州 for the city of Guangzhou), for instance, you'll be inundated with endless tweets from bot accounts showing pornographic and escort services content, making it impossible to get relevant results.

According to a report by a China-focused data analyst, the significant spike in nuisance tweets on the microblogging platform has been happening for the past three days.

Because the discussions of nationwide protests are strictly censored on Chinese social media platforms, protestors have turned to foreign platforms like Twitter and Telegram for communication. These platforms are banned in the country, however, so people have resorted to using VPNs (which are also hard to come by).

The bot content, which is suspected to be from the Chinese government, makes it harder for people to see news in the country and Chinese citizens to stage protests.

Just a few days ago, China's Zhengzhou district witnessed a violent clash between hundreds of Foxconn workers and the police on Tuesday night as a result of delayed bonuses and concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

A Twitter employee told The Washington Post that the company was aware of the problem and was working to resolve it. However, it remains to be seen how the company can effectively tackle the malicious behavior, as its new CEO Elon Musk fired the company's Trust & Safety team.

Source: TechCrunch, Air-Moving Device (Twitter)

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