Social Media Kowtows to Chinese Propaganda Campaign, Lets Them Downplay Alleged Ethnic Cleansing

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Over the past year, the Chinese government has drastically increased its international “covert and overt” propaganda campaign to sway attention away from the alleged human rights abuses occurring in the nation’s Xinjiang province. “Chinese Government officials and state media are increasingly amplifying content, including disinformation, produced by fringe media and conspiracist websites that are often sympathetic to the narrative positioning of authoritarian regimes,” according to a new Australian Strategic Policy Institute report. “This amplifies the reach and influence of these sites in the Western media ecosystem.” According to the research, senior officials from the World Health Organization and the United Nations participated in the effort, spreading misinformation originating from online pro-Beijing fringe conspiracy groups. U.S.-based social media platforms — including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the Chinese-owned TikTok — are at the center of the campaign. Facebook was identified as the platform upon which Communist Party messages have the most extensive reach, with the report noting that Pro-Beijing posts garner the most “likes” on the site.

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