Washington Post

In accusing China of disinformation, Twitter and Facebook take on a role they've long rejected

Arkivfoto: Margarethe Wichert/dapd

Social media companies increasingly have embraced a role they once shunned, as online police penalizing those crossing certain bright lines: You can lie on their platforms but not be ”inauthentic.” You can twist reality but not in a ”coordinated” way.

But even these few bright lines came under new pressure Tuesday as China - home to the world’s largest population and the second-largest economy - mounted a rare public defense of what Twitter and Facebook deemed coordinated, inauthentic behavior aimed at manipulating online conversation. A Foreign Ministry spokesman dismissed the allegations, made by the companies a day earlier, that the government had done something wrong in using online resources to portray the protests roiling Hong Kong as the work of ”cockroaches” spurred to action by shadowy Western forces...

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