U.S. accuses China of using bot farms to fend off critics

U.S. accuses China of using bot farms to fend off critics

In an 89-page complaint, the Department of Justice (DOJ) of United States has accused the Chinese government of using farms of bots to attack dissidents in the North American country.

According to the report, the Special Project 912 Task Force of. China led this multi-year campaign to harass critics of the Xi Jinping regime and discredit U.S. policies.

The case

The complaint states that the task force, part of the internal security agency in Chinacreated thousands of fake profiles on networks such as Twitter and Facebook for this work.

According to screenshots, users had no more than a dozen accounts following them, but it was common among them to try to impersonate Americans. The profiles were called, for example, Susan Miller or Julie Torres.

According to the Department of Justice, the Ministry of Public Security of. China tracked the performance of the agents involved in the operation and rewarded those who successfully executed several people online without being detected by Twitter and Facebook.

“As alleged, the PRC government deploys its national police and the Special Project 912 Task Force not as a tool for law enforcement and protecting public security, but as a farm of bots which attacks people in our country for exercising freedom of speech in a manner that the PRC government finds distasteful, and also spreads propaganda whose sole purpose is to sow divisions within the United States“, said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace.

Attack from “Russia”

Also, learning from “tactics used by Russia,” the group sought to discredit the U.S. government with internal themes.

For example, it spread disinformation about the death of George Floyd to generate division among real users who interacted with its comments.

The group also amplified Russian propaganda about the invasion in Ukraine. To date, the 34 agents responsible are at large.

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Daniel Chapman