Twitter deletes over 170,000 accounts tied to Chinese propaganda efforts

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Twitter announced Thursday that it had deleted more than 170,000 accounts tied to a Chinese state-linked operation that were spreading deceptive information around the COVID-19 virus, political dynamics in Hong Kong, and other issues. 

Almost 25,000 of the accounts that were deleted formed what Twitter described as the “core network,” while around 150,000 accounts were amplifying messages from the core groups. 

“In general, this entire network was involved in a range of manipulative and coordinated activities,” the company wrote in a blog post. “They were Tweeting predominantly in Chinese languages and spreading geopolitical narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China (CCP), while continuing to push deceptive narratives about the political dynamics in Hong Kong.” 

Twitter noted that the accounts taken down this week were tied to a Chinese state-backed operation last year that attempted to sow political discord in Hong Kong. Those accounts were also taken down.