You may be surprised to know the sheer number of fake Chinese accounts on Facebook that had been operating for a while. So do you want to take a guess as to just how many those were? Well, here’s what you ought to know. Apparently, several fake Chinese accounts on Facebook had been existing for a specific purpose. That purpose was to further vested propaganda linked to Chinese interests and to also play a part in manipulating political decisions.
You read that right. While on the one hand, social media is known for several positives; making an otherwise isolated world closer and connected, fostering communication and therefore, also leading to greater social oneness among individuals belonging to different cultures and sects, there exist a string of negatives.
And among them- fake news and negative propaganda! The world saw how the Russians interfered with the outcome of the US elections; the very elections that saw Donald Trump rise to power. Even as the United States went on an overdrive to deny no Russian interference, the negative hand couldn’t be ruled out.
And now, it appears that the Chinese are plodding along the same lines. The lines you just wouldn’t wish anyone to undertake. Right?
So in what appears as a very strange piece of news, it turns out that as many as 150 fake Chinese accounts on Facebook have been shown the door by the mega social networking site. Of course, Facebook has also seen darker days where it has been called out publicly for engendering the dissemination of fake news and other serious matters.
But on its part, the action taken by the Mark Zuckerberg-founded organisation has taken the right decision to keep the negative forces from the Oriental land at bay.
The main purpose, of these actions, it is believed, was to create some sort of ‘targeted interference’ in political discussions.
But having said the above, what may surprise most following this development is the fact that this is not the first time that Facebook has had to deal with such a negative development.
That said, thanks to Facebook’s timely course of action that saw several fake accounts being deleted all at once, a series of actions that may have seen furthering of Chinese political agenda has been denied and that’s a fine development.
The venerable BBC, in its detailed report on this astonishing bit of development had the following excerpts to add:
The network had about 130,000 followers – although very few of these were in the US. The accounts starting appearing in 2016, and most of the information was related to China’s influence in the Philippines and South-East Asia. They were traced back to individuals based in Fujian province, who were beginning to pay for advertisements in Chinese yuan, Facebook said. Much of the content was in support of the Chinese state – such as promoting its interests in the disputed South China Sea. But there was also some criticism of China, too.
Moving on, what was rather dramatic about these fake profiles on Facebook was that several of these accounts sported weird profile pictures- with some being those of animals and other funny-looking illustrations.
Incidentally, Facebook had also removed several fake accounts that had originated from the region of Philippines, that focused on local news and events. Weird-isn’t it?