The Chinese government might be going to great lengths to conceal social-media coverage of COVID-19 lockdown protests.
According to researchers at the Stanford Internet Observatory, the Chinese government has flooded Twitter with pornographic images and posts about escorts, as a likely means of blocking protest videos from going viral in that country.
"Searches for the names of major Chinese cities have resulted in a massive spike in content for porn, escorts, and gambling, 'drowning out legitimate search results,'" wrote Twitter user @AirMovingDevice.
The impetus behind the public protests in China involve the communist government's renewed insistence on a "zero-COVID" policy — which includes some instances of total lockdowns with individuals.
ThePostMillennial.com, a conservative American publication, also wrote about the "porn" bots filling up Chinese Twitter: Researchers "shared a chart showing a massive spike in the number of accounts posting such content on November 28. 'Data analysis in this thread suggests that there has been a significant uptick in these spam tweets.'
"This kind of action is undertaken by what is known as the 'Wumao Army,' which 'is a group of state-backed internet commenters whose numbers have reportedly ranged from 500,000 to two million,'" wrote The Post Millennial.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, videos and posts surfaced of Chinese citizens breaking down government-erected COVID-19 barriers in China and also partaking in something being dubbed as a "White Paper Revolution."
In an incident drawing media attention, 10n people reportedly died in an apartment fire in Xinjiang, amid accusations of the Chinese government sealing the building to guard against the spread of COVID-19.
Also, according to BBC, a company journalist was allegedly "beaten and kicked by the police" by the Chinese government, while covering the public protests in China.
Hu Xijin, a commentator for the Global Times, a publication that's generally acknowledged as a mouthpiece for the Chinese government, tweeted on Monday: "The new Omicron variant is spreading fast, pushing adjustment in COVID response in many parts of China. China's current rate of severe cases is about 0. 025%. Most Chinese people are no longer afraid of being infected. China may walk out of the shadow of COVID-19 sooner than expected."
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