Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Dynamic quotes 

MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  Twitter    TWTR


News SummaryMost relevantAll newsOfficial PublicationsSector newsMarketScreener StrategiesAnalyst Recommendations

Twitter : Facebook Target Accounts Spreading Misinformation on Hong Kong Protests--2nd Update

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
08/19/2019 | 10:00pm EDT

By Robert McMillan and Maria Armental

Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. suspended accounts they believe to be part of a Chinese effort to undermine antigovernment protests in Hong Kong, marking the first time the companies have pointed to China as a source of disinformation campaigns, company representatives said on Monday.

Twitter said it took down 936 accounts linked to a "significant state-backed information operation" originating in China.

"These accounts were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground," Twitter wrote in a blog post.

Facebook said that following a tip from Twitter, it removed five accounts along with seven pages, with a reach of more than 15,000 accounts, as well as three groups that included more than 2,000 members. "Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the Chinese government," Facebook said.

Facebook and Twitter are blocked in China by a government-controlled national firewall. That suggests the latest information operations were likely part of a government-sanctioned effort to influence global opinion, said Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab.

"They are testing what is effective as well as what is accepted or not pushed back on by the international community," he said.

Hong Kong has seen a wave of protests in the past two months as a pro-democracy movement stepped up pressure on the city's Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam, to enter into dialogue to resolve the crisis. Protesters and police have squared off in some of the demonstrations.

Mainland China has repeatedly suggested that it could deploy its own security forces, and even its military, to restore order in the semiautonomous Chinese city if local officials can't manage it themselves.

Pressure has been mounting for Facebook and Twitter to counter state-sponsored disinformation campaigns after accusations that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The companies said in January that they had removed hundreds of fake accounts from Iran and Venezuela spreading misinformation on their social-media platforms.

Twitter also said on Monday that it would stop running advertising from state media and that it had removed at least one widely circulated advertisement by China's state-run Xinhua News Agency that criticized the protest movement.

Even without advertising, China's state news organizations have considerable reach on Twitter. Xinhua has 12.6 million Twitter followers.

Russian state news outlet RT has 2.9 million followers. It has been blocked from running ads on Twitter since 2017.

Representatives of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

China closely monitors and censors internet traffic within its country, including blocking popular western social media sites. The U.S. government and some independent security researchers have accused China of cyberattacks targeting companies, academia and federal agencies. China has denied those allegations.

Facebook said it shared its analysis with law enforcement and industry partners. It said it took down the pages, groups and accounts "based on their behavior, not the content they posted." The company said it was making progress identifying behavior that isn't permitted on its site, but called it an "ongoing challenge."

Twitter said the suspended accounts represented the most active portions of a coordinated state-backed disinformation campaign against the protesters. The accounts, it said, are part of a larger network of about 200,000 accounts that it suspended "before they were substantially active on the service."

Twitter said some of the Chinese accounts were using unblocked internet addresses originating in China, a sign that they were likely operating with the permission of the Chinese government, according to Mr. Brookie.

Screenshots of posts from some suspended accounts showed violent encounters between police and protesters and images of human faces on bodies of cockroaches, according to images posted by Facebook.

Twitter's action is among the most sweeping for the platform. The company said in June that it had taken down 4,779 accounts linked to Iran, the most from any country.

Write to Robert McMillan at Robert.Mcmillan@wsj.com and Maria Armental at maria.armental@wsj.com

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
FACEBOOK 0.03% 188.14 Delayed Quote.43.52%
TWITTER 0.00% 43.24 Delayed Quote.50.45%
share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
Latest news on TWITTER
09/18TWITTER : Inclusion & Diversity Report September 2019
09/18TWITTER : UNICEF and BTS work to #ENDviolence on UN International #FriendshipDay
09/13Washington, Silicon Valley Struggle to Unify on Protecting Elections -- Updat..
09/13Washington, Silicon Valley Struggle to Unify on Protecting Elections
09/11Senate Committee to Hold Hearing Examining Online Violence
09/10TWITTER : 3 things to consider when vetting social listening tools
09/06TWITTER : Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership
08/30TWITTER : CEO's hacked account sends racist tweets
08/29BETTERINVESTING : Magazine Releases November Stock To Study And Undervalued Stoc..
08/28TWITTER : to Present at the Citi Global Technology Conference 2019
More news
Financials (USD)
Sales 2019 3 560 M
EBIT 2019 452 M
Net income 2019 1 551 M
Finance 2019 4 190 M
Yield 2019 -
P/E ratio 2019 21,7x
P/E ratio 2020 63,9x
EV / Sales2019 8,19x
EV / Sales2020 6,75x
Capitalization 33 347 M
Duration : Period :
Twitter Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends TWITTER
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 42
Average target price 42,61  $
Last Close Price 43,24  $
Spread / Highest target 27,2%
Spread / Average Target -1,45%
Spread / Lowest Target -35,2%
EPS Revisions
Jack Dorsey Chief Executive Officer & Director
Omid R. Kordestani Executive Chairman
Ned D. Segal Chief Financial Officer
Parag Agrawal Chief Technology Officer
David S. Rosenblatt Independent Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
TWITTER50.45%33 347
FACEBOOK43.52%536 583
MATCH GROUP INC85.08%22 397
LINE CORP11.07%9 018
SINA CORP-18.20%3 104
GREE,INC.15.89%1 060