Report finds China uses fake accounts and AI-generated content to manipulate public opinion (but so does the U.S. government and the CDC)

04/10/2024 // Laura Harris // 920 Views

Tags: 2024 elections, big government, CCP, China, Chinese Communist Party, communism, election interference, election meddling, elections, fake polls, Microsoft, Midterm elections, national security, rigged, Storm 1376, Taiwan, Terry Gou, vote fraud, William Lai

A report from the Microsoft Threat Analysis Center (MTAC) has uncovered how China uses fake social media accounts and artificial intelligence-generated content to manipulate public opinion in its favor and disrupt global affairs.According to the report, titled "Same targets, new playbooks: East Asia threat actors employ unique methods," Chinese Communist Party-affiliated actors have been actively engaging in deceptive practices on social media platforms. These actors have been posing contentious questions on divisive American domestic issues to gauge public sentiment and potentially influence the outcome of the upcoming presidential election. These efforts aim to gather intelligence on key voting demographics and sow division among American voters.
The report reveals that China has significantly increased its use of AI-generated content to propagate its agenda both domestically and internationally, even with limited success in swaying opinions. The actors use original videos, memes, infographics and recycled content from high-profile political social media accounts to post about American domestic issues like global warming, border policies, drug use, immigration and racial tensions. (Related: INFILTRATION ALERT: CCP-linked media company running influence campaigns across U.S. news websites.)
Additionally, China operates fake social media accounts to poll voters and better understand "which topics are the most divisive ahead of the main phase of the United States presidential election."
"In recent months, there has been an increase in, effectively, polling questions," said Clint Watts, the general manager of MCAT. "This indicates a deliberate effort to understand better which U.S. voter demographic supports what issue or position."
Furthermore, China remains focused on issues involving key regions, such as the South Pacific Islands, the heavily contested South China Sea and the U.S. defense industrial base. The country has doubled down on its targets and has enhanced the sophistication of its influence operations.
China tried to manipulate Taiwan's presidential election

The MTAC report also reveals that China already tried to manipulate the outcome of the Taiwan presidential election in January.
During the election period in Taiwan, a Beijing-backed group identified as Storm 1376, also known as Spamouflage or Dragonbridge, was actively disseminating AI-generated content targeting candidates. Storm 1376 uploaded an AI-generated YouTube audio clip purportedly featuring Terry Gou, a candidate who had withdrawn from the race in November, endorsing another contender. YouTube immediately removed the audio before it reached a significant audience, while Microsoft reported that the clip was "likely AI-generated."
The disinformation efforts weren't limited to audio clips; Storm 1376 flooded social media platforms with AI-generated memes besmirching the election's eventual winner, William Lai, a candidate known for his pro-Taiwanese sovereignty stance, which irked Beijing. These memes falsely accused Lai of embezzling state funds, among other baseless allegations.
MTAC also reveals that the Beijing-backed group also uses AI-generated TV news anchors to propagate unfounded claims about Lai's personal life, including allegations of fathering illegitimate children. Microsoft disclosed that CapCut, a tool developed by Chinese company ByteDance, the owner of the popular social media platform TikTok, was behind the AI-generated news anchors.
With all this, Watts concluded: "With major elections taking place around the world this year, particularly in India, South Korea and the United States, we assess that China will, at a minimum, create and amplify AI-generated content to benefit its interests."
Watch this clip from "China in Focus" as host Tiffany Meier discusses the report revealing that the CCP interfered in the U.S. midterms.

This video is from the Pool Pharmacy channel on
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Report finds China uses fake accounts and AI-generated content to manipulate public opinion (but so does the U.S. government and the CDC) –