mandag 17. mai 2021

University of Oxford: China’s Inauthentic UK Twitter Diplomacy. Full Report.

In this report we examine all tweets, retweets, and replies to tweets by the PRC ambassador to the UK at the time of this analysis, Liu Xiaoming, as well as the official account of the embassy in London. This analysis takes place during an observation period from the 9th of June 2020 to the 31st of January 2021. In total, these two accounts tweeted 3,070 times during that period, 2,375 tweets from the ambassador’s account, and 695 from the embassy twitter. These tweets were retweeted by third party users 45,332 times and replied to 52,733 times.

For our analyses, we count every tweet that was posted at some point during the observation window, regardless of whether it was later deleted by the author or suspended by Twitter. Due to short electricity outages and other Twitter API-related factors, true figures might be slightly higher. In total, we identify a set of sixty-two accounts that exhibit multiple signs of coordination. Of these accounts, thirtyone were suspended by the 1st of March 2021, two had been deleted by their operators, and another twenty-nine remained active. These twenty-nine remaining accounts were suspended after we reported them to Twitter on the 28th of April 2021. None of the users have a genuine profile picture or real name.