China shuts 100,000 fake news social media accounts

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has launched a special operation aimed at removing online social media accounts that spread “fake news” and impersonate government-run media.

The CAC said on Wednesday that since April 6 it had removed 107,000 accounts that disseminated false news and rumors on the internet. Hundreds of thousands of false pieces of news were also removed.

During the cleanup, the CAC said, it found fake accounts that had disguised themselves as government-run news media by falsifying news studio scenes and imitating professional news anchors.

To achieve their purpose, the fake outlet were using artificial intelligence (AI) to impersonate TV presenters with the aim of misleading the Chinese nation, CAC said.

The topics in these fake news outlets covered issues such as social incidents and international current affairs, according to a statement the CAC posted on Monday on its website.

“(The CAC) will guide online platforms … to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the majority of internet users to obtain authoritative and real news,” the CAC said, adding it encouraged users to provide leads on fake news and AI-generated anchors to the official regulator.

The CAS’s efforts in this regard take place as countries across the globe, like China are attempting to safeguard the free and easy out pour of true news through state-controlled online news coverage, with many implementing laws to punish those groups and individauls that are spreading lies and rumor in an effort to undermine and threaten their national security.

Last month, in related news, China urged the US to “stop its global hacking operations” targeting other countries.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters in April that the US government “knowingly abuses technology” for spying and a range of other purposes such as disseminating false news and rumors on the internet to facilitate the implementation of US political and military foreign policies.

The New York Times said in a report last year that the FBI purchased access in 2019 to Israeli-made Pegasus spyware which invades mobile phones and mines their data contents.

The White House also signed a “secret contract” with the Israeli cyber surveillance firm NSO Group through a front company in 2021 to gain access to its Landmark geolocation tool to covertly track mobile users in other countries, the NYT reported.

US agencies target foreign states and companies “under the pretexts of national security and human rights without any evidence,” the Chinese foreign ministry official explained to reporters on April 7.

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