AugustMan (Malaysia)

State Propaganda

- WORDS BY FARHAN SHAH PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES

AS WAVE AFTER WAVE of protests continue to hit Hong Kong with no sign of abating, Twitter recently disclosed that it had uncovered 936 accounts originatin­g from within the People’s Republic of China that “deliberate­ly and specifical­ly [attempted] to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including underminin­g the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground”. The memo went on to reveal that Twitter has reliable evidence indicating that this online campaign is a coordinate­d state-backed operation. With the actions of Russian bots heavily influencin­g the 2016 American elections and now this, it’s clear that social media is the new battlegrou­nd for hearts and minds. Tread carefully. AM

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