Posted 39 days ago
Following President Trump's increasingly hard-line stance on China, numerous fake Chinese accounts have taken shots at the president over a number of issues on social media, including the coronavirus pandemic, according to newly published research.
The research, put together by Graphika, details the actions taken by a network dubbed "Spamoflauge Dragon," a pro-Chinese spam network. Prior to being taken down by Google-owned YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, the network of spammers -- some which were created this year -- appeared to "operate in a dispersed model," the research firm said.
"The latest wave of Spamouflage activity differs in two key ways from its predecessors," researchers wrote. "First, it includes a wealth of videos in English and targets the United States, especially its foreign policy, its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, its racial inequalities, and its moves against TikTok. This is the first time the network has published substantial volumes of English-language content alongside its ongoing Chinese coverage--a clear expansion of its scope."
The accounts used "heavy" amounts of video footage from pro-Chinese government channels and along with memes, published in both Chinese and English, attacked the president.
A person familiar with Twitter's thinking told Fox News the Jack Dorsey-led company suspended a number of the accounts Graphika mentioned in the report prior to being notified by the research firm.
Trump, who is running against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, has ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston and signed executive orders aimed at banning WeChat and TikTok, two popular Chinese-grown apps, in recent weeks.
In response, the Chinese government ordered the closure of the U. S. consulate in Chengdu. In addition, China’s foreign ministry said it opposed the executive orders and will defend the rights of Chinese businesses, according to ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.
"The U. S. is using national security as an excuse and using state power to oppress non-American businesses," Wenbin told reporters, according to Reuters. "That’s just a hegemonic practice. China is firmly opposed to that."
The network is considered "technologically advanced," according to the Washington Post, using artificial intelligence to create fake faces and videos produced at one per day. Some of the videos produced included those putting Biden in a flattering light and predicting Trump would lose the election in November.
One particular video, posted to YouTube, was entitled “When I voted for Trump, I almost sentenced myself to death.”
A YouTube spokesperson told Fox News that Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) is responsible for handling these types of attacks.
TAG, which tracks more than 270 "targeted or government-backed attacker groups" from more than 50 countries, including China and Russia, terminated 186 YouTube chan... (Read more)