Pentagon busted running year-long social media bot vaccine disinformation campaign

A new investigative report found the Pentagon approved a year-long vaccine disinformation campaign against China that used social media bots.

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A new report from Reuters claims the Pentagon approved a vaccine disinformation campaign that ran for approximately one year, and the campaign involved the use of social media bots.

A Pentagon-approved social media bot post

A Pentagon-approved social media bot post

The investigative report states the US military launched a secret clamdistine anti-vax campaign to reduce the impact of China's emerging influence in the Phillipeans. The campaign involved at least 300 accounts on X, at the time Twitter, that US military officials said to the publication matched the description of accounts that were involved in the operation. Reuters writes the identified accounts all shared the hashtag #Chinaangvirus, which translates to China is the virus.

X was informed about the accounts by the publication, and the social media platform quickly responded by discovering their involvement in a coordinated bot campaign. Notably, the Pentagon or the US government is prohibited from targeting US citizens with propaganda, and according to the Reuters report, the investigation found no evidence to suggest that occurred.

Furthermore, the Department of Defense confirmed the US military conducted covert propaganda missions during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly against China's vaccine being used throughout the developing regions of the world.

"COVID came from China and the VACCINE also came from China, don't trust China!" one tweet from July 2020 read

"From China - PPE, Face Mask, Vaccine: FAKE. But the Coronavirus is real," read another post

Pentagon busted running year-long social media bot vaccine disinformation campaign 56516165
Pentagon busted running year-long social media bot vaccine disinformation campaign 5615656
Pentagon busted running year-long social media bot vaccine disinformation campaign 65156165

The US military "uses a variety of platforms, including social media, to counter those malign influence attacks aimed at the U.S., allies, and partners." The military official also noted that China at the time started a "disinformation campaign to falsely blame the United States for the spread of COVID-19."

"We weren't looking at this from a public health perspective. We were looking at how we could drag China through the mud," said an anonymous senior military officer

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NEWS SOURCES:reuters.com, mashable.com

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, space, and artificial intelligence 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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