China tries to block protest news on Twitter with a great wall of porn

China is attempting to block the spread of news on Twitter by rolling out a series of spam tweets that show porn, escort services, and more.

China tries to block protest news on Twitter with a great wall of porn
Published   |   Updated Fri, Jan 13 2023 1:37 PM CST
2 minutes & 17 seconds read time

An unprecedented wave of protests have erupted in China over the country's zero-tolerance policy toward COVID-19.

China tries to block protest news on Twitter with a great wall of porn 02

These massive protests that are erupting in several cities across the country have coincided with a large wave of X-rated content on Twitter, according to China-focused data analysts. Reports indicate that there has been a "significant" increase in the number of bot-posted content that appears when a user searches a major Chinese city on Twitter.

Thousands of people have hit the streets in major Chinese cities as well as universities to express their disdain for strict COVID-19 laws that have resulted in long lockdowns, temporary shutdowns of businesses, and general life intrusion.

Spam post example

Spam post example

Notably, content on these now-nationwide protests is blocked on all main Chinese social media, which has resulted in users flocking to other social media platforms such as Twitter to conduct communication and organize future protests. Notably, China has already banned Western social media networks such as Twitter, but they are still available through the use of a VPN.

TechCrunch has reported that the X-rated bot content is believed to be connected to the Chinese government in a move to make it difficult for Chinese protesters to organize themselves and communicate with each other. A former Twitter employee spoke to The Washington Post and said that foreign interference on Twitter is a common problem, and that Twitter's team dedicated to handling this issue all resigned following Elon Musk's takeover of the social media platform. "All the China influence operations and analysts at Twitter all resigned," said the former employee.

Analysts pointed to one account that joined Twitter in 2015 had posted more than 2,000 tweets. This account posted all of those tweets within the last 15 hours of its discovery, and is just one of the many that are reportedly out there. WAPO also reports that Twitter said it "was aware" of the X-rated spam issue that was spreading on its platform and was actively "working to resolve it", as of Sunday. As of November 29, Tuesday, searching major Chinese cities on Twitter doesn't result in X-rated content spam, or at least that is what I can report from testing.

In other news, a report recently surfaced about Twitter losing half of its top advertisers within the last month.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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