Twitter and Facebook revealed on Monday that they have discovered accounts believed to be linked to a Chinese disinformation campaign targeted at the Hong Kong protests. Twitter said it had found and suspended 936 accounts originating within China that were “deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong” as part of a state-backed operation. The accounts aimed to undermine the “legitimacy and political positions” of the pro-democracy protest movement. The company said the over 900 accounts were just part of a “larger, spammy network of approximately 200,000 accounts”—many of which were “proactively suspended.”
Facebook said it removed seven pages, three groups and five Facebook accounts that were “engaged in a number of deceptive tactics” regarding the situation in Hong Kong. According to the company, approximately 15,500 accounts and 2,200 group members were exposed to fake accounts posing as news organizations, which would post their content and direct users to news sites.