Twitter suspends 2 lakh accounts targeting HK protests


San Francisco, Aug 20 (IANS): Twitter has suspended more than 200,000 accounts that were part of the Chinese government's influence campaign and targeted protest movement and the call for political change in Hong Kong.

The disclosure consists of 936 accounts originating from within the People's Republic of China (PRC).

"Overall, these accounts were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground," Twitter said in a blog post late Monday.

Specifically, the company identified large clusters of accounts behaving in a coordinated manner to amplify messages related to the Hong Kong protests.

"As Twitter is blocked in China, many of these accounts accessed Twitter using VPNs. However, some accounts accessed Twitter from specific unblocked IP addresses originating in mainland China," it added.

All the accounts have been suspended for a range of violations of Twitter's platform manipulation policies like spam, coordinated activity, fake accounts, attributed activity and violative content.

The micro-blogging platform said it will also ban ads from China-backed media companies.

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