Facebook removes Chinese network over fake ‘Swiss biologist' coronavirus claims

Asia's Tech News Daily

Joe Biden

Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc said on Wednesday it had removed accounts used by an influence operation originating in China that promoted claims of a fake “Swiss biologist” saying the United States was interfering in the search for Covid-19’s origins.

Meta said in a report the social media campaign was “largely unsuccessful” and targeted English-speaking audiences in the United States and Britain and Chinese-speaking audiences in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Tibet.

Claims by “Swiss biologist” Wilson Edwards were widely quoted by Chinese state media in July. In August, several Chinese newspapers removed comments and deleted articles quoting him after the Swiss embassy in Beijing said it had found no evidence of him as a Swiss citizen.

Meta said Facebook removed the Wilson Edwards account in August and has since removed 524 Facebook accounts, 20 Pages, four Groups and 86 Instagram accounts as part of its investigation. Such removals also take down content that these entities have posted.

“We … were able to link the activity to individuals in mainland China, including employees of a particular company in China, the Sichuan Silence Information Technology Company Limited, as well as some individuals associated with Chinese state infrastructure companies around the world,” Meta’s head of global threat disruption David Agranovich told Reuters.

Sichuan Silence Information Technology Co did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Chinese foreign ministry and internet regulator Cyberspace Administration of China also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Meta said it had not found any connection between Sichuan Silence Information Technology and the Chinese government.

Silence Information’s website describes itself as a network and information security company that provides network security services to China’s Ministry of Public Security activities and China’s CNCERT, the key coordination team for China’s cybersecurity emergency response.

On July 24, 10 hours after its creation, the “Wilson Edwards” Facebook account uploaded a post saying he had been informed the United States was seeking to discredit the qualifications of World Health Organization scientists working with China to probe the origins of Covid-19.

Meta said the account’s operators used virtual private network (VPN) infrastructure to conceal its origin and made efforts to give Edwards a rounded personality.

The persona’s original post was initially shared and liked by fake Facebook accounts, and later forwarded by authentic users, most of which belonged to employees of Chinese state infrastructure companies in over 20 countries, Meta said.

“This is the first time we have observed an operation that included a coordinated cluster of state employees to amplify itself in this way,” the report said. Meta said it did not find evidence that the network gained any traction among authentic communities.

China’s state-run media, from China Daily to television news service CGTN, cited the July post widely as evidence that US President Joe Biden’s administration was politicising the WHO.

The administration had said the joint WHO-China investigation lacked transparency.

The origin of the Sars-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 remains a mystery and a source of tension between China, the United States and other countries.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Hyundai Samho's IPO plan angers investors in parent firm

Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries’ shipyard in Yeongam, South Jeolla Province. Courtesy of Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Irregular worker’s death jeopardizes shipbuilder’s ESG rating By Park Jae-hyuk Minority shareholders of Korea ... Read more »

'Hyundai Motor shows no signs of rebound in China'

Hyundai Motor plans to sell its first plant in Beijing, after suspending its operation in 2019, as demand for its cars in China has been falling since 2017. Korea Times ... Read more »

Kakao names Namkoong Whon as new CEO

Namkoong Whon, new CEO of Kakao / Courtesy of Kakao Kakao, the operator of Korea’s top mobile messenger KakaoTalk, said Thursday it has named Namkoong Whon as its new CEO, ... Read more »

Korea aims to become world's 5th biggest metaverse market by 2026

gettyimagesbank The government unveiled a long-term road map to foster its metaverse industry Thursday, with the aim of becoming the world’s fifth-largest market over the next five years.Under the plan, ... Read more »

Hyundai, US firm join hands for battery development

gettyimagesbank Hyundai Motor said Thursday it has partnered with U.S. quantum computer firm IonQ for battery development. The partnership will allow Hyundai Motor to use IonQ’s quantum computers to develop ... Read more »

POSCO chief apologizes for worker's death in steel mill accident

A worker died at a plant of South Korea’s top steelmaker POSCO on Thursday after being hit by a coal-moving vehicle, police said. The 38-year-old worker, affiliated with a service ... Read more »

POSCO's spinoff plan undermined by minority shareholders

POSCO’s flag hangs on its building in Seoul in this file photo. Courtesy of POSCO By Park Jae-hyukPOSCO is still facing uncertainties about its ambitious plan to restructure itself as ... Read more »

Lotte acquires Ministop's Korean operations

A Ministop convenience store in Seoul / New1 Lotte, the holding company of Korean retail giant Lotte Group, said Friday it has acquired a 100-percent stake in Ministop Korea for ... Read more »

WhatsApp is testing pause and play, while recording voice messages on desktop

The desktop version also has the ability to preview voice messages before sending them In the latest beta for WhatsApp‘s desktop application, the instant messaging platform is testing the ability ... Read more »

Tata Motors launches latest range of passenger vehicles in Bhutan

Tata Motors | Representative image Tata Motors on Friday said it has launched its latest range of passenger vehicles in Bhutan. The company said it has launched the product range ... Read more »

Google is working on an AR headset codenamed Project Iris

(Image: Google’s Daydream VR headset, Courtesy: Google) Google is developing an Augmented Reality (AR) headset codenamed Project Iris. The company is eyeing a release window of 2024, according to The ... Read more »

Microsoft's Surface Pro 8 launched in India, to go on sale from February 15

The Surface Pro 7+ will also be available on the same date Microsoft has launched the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Pro 7+ in India. The devices will go on ... Read more »

Twitter finally rolls out Communities on Android

Representative image Twitter has announced the availability of the Communities for Android. Previously, the feature had been restricted to the iOS app and web, and Android users had to use ... Read more »

Are hard-up households going to get a £500 payout?

Rishi Sunak. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images) The government is believed to be considering new plans to help those facing significant financial hardship in the coming weeks. Experts warn that ... Read more »

IIT Madras offers course on Next Generation Mobile Wireless Networks

The ‘Next Generation Mobile Wireless Networks’ course is open to students of Engineering (UG & PG) & MSc (Electronics), PhD scholars, faculty members and professionals from Industry/Start-ups. IIT Madras Pravartak ... Read more »

PDFpenPro review

We classify PDFpenPro under word processing software as opposed to just being a PDF editor. The original company behind the PDF editing software is Smile Software. However, Smile Software sold ... Read more »

In the Big Tech Metaverse, is privacy an option?

The world’s largest companies go all-in on Metaverse, an alternative virtual reality world combining work, leisure, services and more. While they look for the best way to make everyone join ... Read more »

Why Is The Airline Industry So Concerned With The 5G Network?

While AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) announced ambitious plans to deploy 5G services in the U.S., the airline industry has raised concerns about how this technology could ... Read more »

World faces shortage of lithium for electric vehicle batteries

Source: Reuters Lithium is in hot demand due to rapidly growing production of electric vehicles that use lithium-ion batteries, but there is a global supply shortage of the metal, with ... Read more »

Intel to build a $20-billion chip factory in Ohio

(Image Courtesy: Intel/TIME) Intel Corp is planning to massive a $20-billion chip manufacturing site in New Albany, Ohio in the US on a 1,000-acre site, as the world grapples with a ... Read more »

Everything you need to know about Wi-Fi 7

As networking devices with Wi-Fi 6 are becoming widely available and relatively affordable, tech companies are already looking ahead to implement Wi-Fi 7 in their products and services. This new ... Read more »

Did Elon Musk forget about OpenAI or is he just trolling his dumbest fans?

It’s impossible to tell if Elon Musk is serious about anything anymore. His image exists in a dichotomy between cartoonesque and genius. He’s simultaneously the richest man in the world ... Read more »

CESL launches tender for 5,500 electric buses in 5 cities

Representative Image Convergence Energy Services (CESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services (EESL), on January 20 announced a tender for 5,500 electric buses in five cities — Delhi, Kolkata, ... Read more »

Families forced to cancel half term holidays because of ‘restrictive' Covid pass rules

Children between the age of 12-15 are unable to prove their vaccine status on the NHS Covid app – JUSTIN TALLIS Families have been forced to cancel half term holidays ... Read more »

Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G design renders leaked ahead of January 26 global launch

Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G will feature a Snapdragon processor. Redmi Note 11 Pro design renders have leaked online ahead of the global launch on January 26 even as the ... Read more »

Garmin Fenix 7 too expensive? Check out the super light Suunto 5 Peak instead

If your pockets aren’t deep enough for the newly launched Garmin Fenix 7 multi-sports watch the Suunto 5 Peak is an alternative that’s well worth considering. The new watch is ... Read more »

Godzilla is getting an Apple TV show set in the Monsterverse

Spoilers follow for Godzilla vs Kong. Godzilla fans, rejoice: a live-action TV series, set in Legendary Pictures’ Monsterverse, is in development for Apple TV Plus. Announced in a press release, ... Read more »

Exclusive | No Siri, Alexa, Smart Devices in Secret Meetings: Intel Note to Govt Officials on Tech Threats

(Image Courtesy: Reuters) Witnessing massive violation of national communication security policy guidelines and instructions of the government by officials and to control leaks of classified information, a new communication security ... Read more »

AT&T, Verizon begin turning on C-band 5G

Representative image After a six-week delay, and a whole lot of headaches, AT&T and Verizon have finally started to activate their C-Band 5G networks. People in some areas of the ... Read more »

Snapchat implements new safety features for teens

Snapchat has been busy trying to tackle a drug problem on its platform Snapchat is introducing new safety features for teens that limits the friend suggestions they get to people ... Read more »

Oppo Reno 7, Reno 7 Pro India launch confirmed via Flipkart; to feature World's first Sony IMX709 sensor

OPPO Reno 7 Pro will compete against the likes of the Xiaomi 11T Pro, OnePlus 9RT, etc. Oppo Reno 7 India launch has been confirmed. The company has said that its ... Read more »

FedEx Express commences electric vehicle trials in India

Source: Shutterstock FedEx Express, a subsidiary of leading global express transportation company FedEx Corp, on Friday announced the commencement of electric vehicle (EV) trials in India with Bengaluru to begin ... Read more »

Explainer | Artificial Intelligence, and its impact on advertising

Representational image. Srivibhu Timmaraju and K Rajeshwari “Artificial Intelligence is a tool, not a threat”: Rodney Brooks, Professor of Robotics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ever been in a situation where ... Read more »

China 3-4 generations away from ‘cutting-edge' chip capabilities: Report

File photo of a semiconductor chip (Image Source: Shutterstock) Mario Morales, group vice president for enabling technologies and semiconductors at the International Data Corporation (IMC) feels China is “generations” away ... Read more »

5G Ultra Wideband just appeared on my iPhone and it's the speed I've always wanted

474.51 Mbps. I had never seen a mobile download speed like it before. 5G Ultra Wideband – yes, the controversial 5G C-Band you’ve been reading about for months – is ... Read more »

Pre-order Samsung's The Freestyle projector and get a free gift - ending soon!

Upgrade your home cinema experience to a whole new level with this pre-order deal on Samsung’s The Freestyle projector. For a limited time, Samsung is offering a free carrying case ... Read more »

Vergecast: Microsoft to acquire Activision, Google building a headset, and the 5G battle with airlines

© Image: Blizzard Every Friday, The Verge publishes our flagship podcast, The Vergecast, where we discuss the week in tech news with the reporters and editors covering the biggest stories. ... Read more »

Los Angeles weighs phasing out oil and gas drilling

The University Park neighborhood of Los Angeles has a lot in common with urban areas across the U.S.: A dense population with lots of businesses and housing. A cluster of ... Read more »

Sony seeking new partners for transformative EV project: Report

Sony Group will likely add new technology partners to its electric vehicle (EV) project to help it forge a mobility business to transform cars from transportation machines to entertainment spaces, ... Read more »

New York Mayor Adams to receive first paycheck in cryptocurrency

New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday said his first paycheck, to arrive on Friday, will be automatically converted into cryptocurrency via Coinbase Global Inc. The salary will be ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic