The Chinese government's largest disinformation campaign ``Spamouflage Dragon'' runs on over 50 platforms including Google, the terrifying reality of promoting Chinese policies and criticizing dissidents

It has been reported that the Chinese government is leading a huge disinformation campaign called Spamouflage Dragon , which uses more than 50 social media channels to manipulate public opinion in Europe, the United States, and Japan. The American economic media Bloomberg reports on what kind of propaganda activities were carried out with this Spamouflage Dragon.

Pro-Chinese Spamouflage Dragon Has Penetrated Social Media - Bloomberg

From around 2020, Spencer Taggart, a business consultant in Utah, USA, started actively discussing the cultural disparities, racism, and political issues that are prevalent in the United States on his X (formerly Twitter) account. It has started to attract widespread attention. In particular, a tweet expressing support for ' Black Lives Matter ' was shared by two Chinese embassy employees.

However, Mr. Taggart himself claims, ``I have not tweeted anything like that, and I have not used Twitter or X for five years.'' According to social media analysis company Graphika, Taggart's personal information was used by a huge pro-China propaganda network to create fake accounts. Taggart said: ``It's like being robbed. How terrible would it be if people thought I was promoting communism or hatred against my country?''

In early 2023, Meta announced that it had removed a group of fake spam accounts called 'Spamouflage Dragon.' 'Spamouflage' is a combination of 'spam' and 'camouflage'.

According to Meta, a total of 160,000 problematic accounts have been discovered on 50 different social media platforms, including X, Reddit, YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest, and Pixiv, with 50 accounts and 46 on Facebook alone. The Page 31 group has reportedly deleted 10 accounts on Instagram. These accounts, pages, and groups post disinformation and critical comments about the Taiwanese government, and in particular share videos and express messages encouraging Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to surrender. It seems that he was doing something like that.

According to Ben Nimmo, head of Global Threat Intelligence at Meta, Spamouflage Dragon was first seen in 2019, when China criticized Hong Kong's democratization and exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui . It is said that a large number of Twitter accounts were sharing videos with subtitles. These accounts were operating under Western names such as 'Basheba Lyons' and 'Gonzalez Swindlehurst,' and they interacted with each other, talking about mundane topics in between propaganda-like political topics, so at first glance it seemed like they weren't. It seems that he was disguised so that it was difficult to tell that he was a supporter of the Chinese government.

Meta and Google seem to delete these fake spam accounts as soon as they are discovered, but Libby Lang, an analyst at Graphika, says, ``We sometimes joke that fake spam accounts are the mold of the Internet. 'Spam accounts are pervasive in every corner of the online space, and even if you remove them, they often come back.'

Bloomberg says, ``The whack-a-mole effort required to remove fake spam accounts shows how difficult it is to stop foreign propaganda efforts from reaching Western social media users.'' It shows.”

The FBI also points out that China is also targeting dissidents online, with stalking and threats increasing. According to Graphika, Mr. Guo was criticized as a 'Big Hemorrhoid' (a really troublesome person) in a video uploaded to YouTube. ) Defamatory comments were reportedly posted on various social media.

Additionally, the Canadian government announced that Spamouflage Dragon is suspected of running a disinformation campaign targeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other members of the Cabinet. The Canadian government said, ``This disinformation campaign included claims that ``critics of the Chinese Communist Party living in Canada had accused members of parliament of criminal conduct and ethical violations.''

In response to reports that pro-China networks are conducting propaganda activities by creating fake spam accounts, Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in the United States, said, ``China always opposes the creation and spread of false information.'' From what I've seen, there's a lot of disinformation about China on American social media. Some American officials, lawmakers, media, and organizations ignore basic facts and don't provide any evidence. 'They are creating and disseminating a large amount of disinformation against China.'

in Web Service,   Security, Posted by log1i_yk