Twitter and Facebook bans Chinese accounts amidst Hong Kong protests

PCMag tech reporter Michael Kan discusses how social media accounts from China are spreading propaganda and misinformation through state-run media agencies.
5:21 | 08/20/19

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Transcript for Twitter and Facebook bans Chinese accounts amidst Hong Kong protests
Turning now to in battle that's playing out on social media right now in the world of FaceBook and Twitter taking nine. China. In its battle with those protesters in Hong Kong both social media giants now launching an aggressive campaign to shut down fake accounts. In state run media accounts that are pushing a propaganda around those protests let's bring in. I'm Michael Kahn who's a reporter with PC mag it's been covering this story Michael great to see this in stretches a pretty significant move. A by both companies in light of their past support for free speech. Yeah but at the same time this is a lot of critics are saying this is effectively propaganda and misinformation being spread by the Chinese Government means. State run media outlets along with these counts. I'm Beazer similar problems that occurred in the 2016. Election where sound. Accusations that Russia is doing the same to you interpret. Election certainly Beazer. It very similar tactics except this is trying to you. Effect on the public's perception of them protests and. Hong Kong. Yeah and brought in brought in part by advertising buys some spots on Twitter as well so we had as you you alluded to Michael we've had first we have Russia. Now we had China. I mean you cover the industry pretty closely how much concern is there that debt other. Bad actors could be capitalizing on these platforms and and we don't even know right now. Yeah this is this is probably going India persistent problems her for years I mean I don't. This this happened. In 2016. And now happening again but with China us. It's it's a play book any government can use and it's it's not. It's not hard to create these towns. I'm glad. And intruders offense they have they finally you know decided to ban on state run. It just add to ban these ads from state run media companies and there's an argument that they should have been doing this or her wild because. It's it's very easy to you spread propaganda. And people and these ads will appear no matter if you follow these counts are not so savor these ads are giving. These state run media agencies each platform and there gobs a lot of funds spent. It's. Yeah they sure do and and some of the the examples that have been in your story of PC mag. And in other reports. Just showcasing what this propaganda looks like and how. The state run organizations are using it to spread false narratives this is really something to look out we only to look at an up close. I guess the last question I pre Michael is it in your dealings with Twitter and FaceBook. How they actually track this stuff down how to be vetted debate. Had they've been having to staff up armies of investigators to go through their sites and their platforms they have algorithms how are they saw seen these things out. Yeah it in Facebook's case they've been you know investing a lot of money and hire people aren't the best people. Two years try to find peace misinformation campaigns. I'm over their sides and traders has done similar things. In Facebook's case they barely learned about this through a tip from Reuters. You know they they just kind of shows scale of the problem and out change. You know FaceBook is so big it but they kept it it's still difficult for them to police their own platform and and Twitter this is this is this is what. Sort of a similar situation. He's. These state run agencies were buying these asked her for weeks and months. On a lot of different subjects and they didn't didn't really know about it or accurately check injury. And only if it's not clear what exactly tipped Tweeter it may have been just down the Hong Kong protest to mark his ability. That prop. Do you do you know where they figure if you do you know if the companies have a see something say something. Mentality is there is there something all of us can do we see. A fake account for some than that doesn't look quite right. Yet I think that's that's the problem with Twitter is that. A lot of people will complain about. Certain activities on Twitter. Than spreading like propaganda or hate speech and a lot of times Twitter may not do anything coordinate say it's. You know that the content may be inflammatory but it's not necessarily against the rules or you can record these things you. Twitter they have these flagging options that you can use to court but it doesn't necessarily mean though they'll take action. Where which is why at today's announcement was was seen by many people as quite significant cracking down. On the Chinese both state run media and these fake accounts on Twitter and on FaceBook Michael Conn reporter with PC magazine thanks so much for your reporting Michael.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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