Another pro-MAGA activist has been outed as a Chinese spy, according to the Washington Post.
Just as Elon Musk is taking over Twitter, the company uncovered three China-based operatives pretending to be influencers in American politics as part of an effort to polarize Americans ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
In a cache of data released by the site, nearly 2,000 users were uncovered as they claimed election-rigging and attacked members of the transgender community. They also promoted pro-China narratives to their American audience.
"The disclosure by Twitter adds to what is known about China-based efforts to influence American audiences by mimicking the strategies Russia-based operatives used to stoke cultural and political tensions during the 2016 election," said the Post. "In September, Meta announced it had disrupted a China-based operation seeking to influence U.S. politics. The U.S. government also has issued warnings about Chinese influence efforts, as have a spate of reports from cybersecurity firms including Google’s Mandiant, Recorded Future and Alethea Group."
Another network in Iran was uncovered with people claiming to be based in the U.S. or Israel, data showed. An account using the same name and logo was also present on YouTube, TikTok and Reddit.
“This is equal opportunity hyper-partisanship, a tactic that’s been more embraced by Russia,” said Graham Brookie, head of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab. “It’s the same theory of the case: A weakened adversary is one that allows you to shape geopolitics more.”
One network that was removed from Twitter showed 22 users that tweeted more than 250,000 times from April to October and generally promoted Donald Trump, along with conspiracy theories about the pandemic and vaccines.
"Alethea, another recipient of the data, concluded that Chinese-linked accounts on Twitter and elsewhere were pursuing divisiveness but plugging right-wing issues more than left, sometimes with nods to conspiracy theories," the report also said.
The newly announced batch of suspensions promoted, in May, that former President Barack Obama was a “lizard person who is a member of the Illuminati.” The author went by the name Ultra MAGA BELLA Hot Babe, and had 26,000 followers with more than 400,000 likes and 180,000 retweets. The account has since been suspended.
She also pushed out memes with false 2020 election conspiracies like a photo of someone holding a paper bag near a drop box. She claimed, “MULE TAKING PICS! PROOF OF CRIME REQUIRED TO GET PAID BY THE DNC.” In June, that account also tweeted the idea that children with gender dysphoria were being abused by their parents.