China creates fake Twitter profiles to cheer their occupation of Tibet

Discussion in 'China' started by Srinivas_K, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

    Jun 17, 2009
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    China creates fake Twitter profiles to cheer their occupation of Tibet

    You guys. China was trying to catfish us.

    In a major investigation conducted by human rights advocacy group Free Tibet, it was discovered that Chinese officials had created myriad fake profiles dedicated entirely to spreading propaganda about how super great their occupation of Tibet is, and also how super terrible the Dalai Lama is and criticizing world leaders for meeting with him.

    The 100 or so fake profiles also tweeted random giberrish with the word “Tibet” included, in hopes of confusing search results for people looking for information on freeing Tibet.

    Screengrabs of the fake profiles can be seen here.

    While most of the user pictures were random stock photos of Western models, many were actually famous people. For example, Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd was resurrected in order to shill for China, as were Smallville actress Erica Durance and Brazilian model Felipe Berto.

    Although it has yet to be proven that the profiles are linked to Communist party officials, Twitter and Facebook have been blocked for everyone in China but them since 2008. Tibetans discovered using the internet to communicate with the outside world can face life in jail.

    Most of the propaganda retweets com from Tibet Online, a Chinese website dedicated not so much to opposing Tibetan Freedom as it is dedicated to pretending that the Tibetans have no interest in freedom and think life is awesome under Chinese rule. Which, you know, would probably come as a surprise to the hundred or so Tibetan monks who have set themselves on fire in the last decade.

    Quick refresher! China invaded Tibet in 1950. Shockingly, the Tibetans were not thrilled by this and by 1959 had a major uprising during which somewhere between 80,000 (claimed by China) and 430,000 (claimed by Tibet) were killed. The Dalai Lama left and went into exile in India.

    China’s perspective on this is that Tibet “belonged” to China during the Qing Dynasty starting in the 1600s, and thus they were only reclaiming what was rightfully theirs. Tibet, however, considered itself an independent nation. In fact, what Tibet thought was the normal exchange of gifts between leaders of sovereign nations, China believed was a tribute.

    Anyway, since 1959 the Tibetan people have been brutally oppressed, jailed, sterilized, tortured and generally treated like second class citizens by the Chinese occupiers. There has been a massive genocide of the Tibetan people throughout these years. In 1996, when the Dalai Lama selected a new Panchen Lama, that boy was taken by China and made to become the world’s youngest political prisoner, and selected their own candidate for Panchen Lama to replace him. He has not been seen or heard from since, despite pleas from various world governments and diplomatic organizations. America is basically cool with all of this because, well, just follow the damn money.

    Free Tibet has sent a letter to CEO Dick Costolo urging him to take action to prevent Twitter from being abused by authoritarian regimes seeking to spread propaganda.

    “A company of Twitter’s size and high profile must take responsibility for failing to prevent abuse on this scale for the political purposes of an authoritarian regime. These accounts are an act of cynical deception designed to manipulate public opinion regarding an occupied and brutally repressed country.

    “Tibetans within Tibet are completely denied the right to speak to the world online. They face even greater restrictions on their online activity than China’s own citizens and can receive sentences of up to life imprisonment for online or email content criticising China’s regime. China has the power and resources to use Twitter for its own ends and Tibetans do not. In the words of concentration camp survivor Elie Wiesel, ‘neutrality helps the oppressor, never the oppressed’.”

    Unfortunately, the only real case here may belong to the people whose pictures were used in the fake profiles, and I don’t know how easy that is to track.

    [Via The Guardian]

    China creates fake Twitter profiles to cheer their occupation of Tibet | Death and Taxes


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