Hong Kong protests: Twitter, Facebook remove Chinese accounts

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Hong Kong: Twitter and Facebook had taken action against China for using hundreds of fake accounts to sow political discord during the Hong Kong protests.

The famous social media platforms had identified Beijing directly for spearheading such an operation.

Twitter on Monday announced that it would no longer accept advertisements from “state-controlled news media entities,” though accounts affected by the new rule can still use Twitter as regular users.

The new policy comes hours after the company, along with Facebook, released information they said detailed a covert state-backed social media campaign run from China has sought to undermine ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong.

Twitter and Facebook have suspended numerous accounts that are believed to be tied to a state-backed disinformation campaign originating from inside China.

Facebook said it took down several pages, groups and accounts involved in the activity, while Twitter suspended 936 accounts associated with the misinformation campaign.

Twitter is also barring state-controlled news media entities from advertising on the platform.

This is the first time tech companies have pointed the finger at Beijing for covert efforts to influence messaging around the Hong Kong protests. Democracy demonstrators have massed throughout Hong Kong for 11 consecutive weekends.

Over the weekend, approximately 1.7 million anti-government protesters gathered in Hong Kong to rally peacefully against the Chinese government, which assumed the rule of the former British colony in 1997. Many thousands of Hong Kongers have been protesting since March against a proposed government bill that would have allowed extradition from the territory to the Chinese mainland.

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