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Twitter: testimonials of protests in China are obscured by bots and spam


One of the largest anti-government demonstrations in decades is underway in China . Thousands of young people took to the streets holding the white billboards symbol of the communist party’s censorship. Shouting “Freedom or death”, the protesters are calling for an end to the iron fist and the zero-covid policy.


It is a pity that on Twitter the testimonies of these unprecedented demonstrations – if not going back in time, up to Tiananmen – have been completely obscured by a campaign of censorship and sabotage – perhaps coordinated by Beijing, the same activists whisper.

The hashtags used by Chinese citizens have been inundated with spam , pornographic images and other distractions. In this way the protesters’ posts – photos of the protests, but also videos of the arrests and the ruthless reaction of the police – have been submerged under other things, becoming difficult to find.

Twitter, like all other Western platforms, is not available in China, where the ‘ Great Firewell ‘ (as it has been called, after the great wall) limits user traffic by forcing them to use only apps and sites controlled by the party Chinese Communist. In any case, – explains Engadget – the protesters manage to use the social network and read Western media thanks to the VPN.


And it was precisely the VPNs that played a fundamental role in the protests: “we discovered that in the rest of the world no one was behaving like China”, the protesters explain. “Western citizens have been walking around without a mask for months”. In short, by bypassing censorship, young Chinese see that another management of the pandemic is possible. The obsession with the zero-covid policy proposed to the bitter end is all Chinese.


As for the mass spam of bots , it is impossible to think of a coincidence. It is definitely Peking opera. Nor is it a coincidence that the social network has not yet managed to counter the activity of bots, cleaning up the hashtags of protests from spam. This is due to mass layoffs that have stripped Twitter’s moderation and security teams to the bone.



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