Chinese bots flood Twitter with porn to hide posts about violent protests

Earlier, searches for major Chinese cities resulted in ads for escorts/ porn/ gambling as protests turned violent. Stanford University's Mengyu Dong shared images on Twitter of some of the dubious "escort ads", which she said "make it more difficult for Chinese users to access information about the mass protests," reports New York Post.

As porn and spam accounts flourish amid violent protests in China over its zero-Covid policy, reports have surfaced that these are Chinese bots which are swamping Twitter with sexually-explicit content to stop the spread of news about the massive protests against President Xi Jinping.

Earlier, searches for major Chinese cities resulted in ads for escorts/ porn/ gambling as protests turned violent.

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Stanford University's Mengyu Dong shared images on Twitter of some of the dubious "escort ads", which she said "make it more difficult for Chinese users to access information about the mass protests," reports New York Post.

"Some of these acts have been dormant for years, only to become active a after protests broke out in China," she posted.

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Also read | Tanks on streets of China rekindles fears of Tiananmen Square

The use of spam to stop the spread of damaging information is a "known problem" within Twitter, as was seen when Elon Musk took over the micro-blogging platform.

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The Chinese state media has made no mention of the ongoing protests.

Earlier, as China faced unprecedented protests over its tough zero-Covid policy, searching for any major Chinese city on Twitter resulted in span tweets showing porn and gambling content.

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According to a China-focused data analyst, "search for Beijing/ Shanghai/ other cities in Chinese on Twitter and you'll mostly see ads for escorts/porn/gambling, drowning out legitimate search results".

Also read | Chinese universities send students home after protests

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The analyst said in a Twitter thread that there has been a "significant" uptick in these spam tweets over the last three days, as a wave of protests erupted across major Chinese cities.

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