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Chinese Agents Helped Spread Messages That Sowed Virus Panic in U.S., Officials Say
22 April 2020, 21:17,
Chinese Agents Helped Spread Messages That Sowed Virus Panic in U.S., Officials Say
American officials were alarmed by fake text messages and social media posts that said President Trump was locking down the country. Experts see a convergence with Russian tactics.

The alarming messages came fast and furious in mid-March, popping up on the cellphone screens and social media feeds of millions of Americans grappling with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic...

The messages became so widespread over 48 hours that the White House’s National Security Council issued an announcement via Twitter that they were “FAKE...”

United States intelligence agencies have assessed that Chinese operatives helped push the messages across platforms...The amplification techniques are alarming to officials because the disinformation showed up as texts on many Americans’ cellphones, a tactic that several of the officials said they had not seen before...

The messages appeared to gain significant traction on Facebook as they were also proliferating through texts, according to an analysis by The New York Times. American officials said the operatives had adopted some of the techniques mastered by Russia-backed trolls, such as creating fake social media accounts to push messages to sympathetic Americans, who in turn unwittingly help spread them...

American intelligence officers are also examining whether spies in China’s diplomatic missions in the United States helped spread the fake lockdown messages... In September, the State Department secretly expelled two employees of the Chinese Embassy in Washington suspected of spying.

American officials said China, borrowing from Russia’s strategies, has been trying to widen political divisions in the United States. As public dissent simmers over lockdown policies in several states, officials worry it will be easy for China and Russia to amplify the partisan disagreements...

The propaganda efforts go beyond text messages and social media posts directed at Americans. In China, top officials have issued directives to agencies to engage in a global disinformation campaign around the virus, the American officials said...

The messages stress the idea of disunity among European nations during the crisis and praise China’s “donation diplomacy,” American officials said. Left unmentioned are reports of Chinese companies delivering shoddy equipment and European leaders expressing skepticism over China’s handling of its outbreak...

An Information War

The United States and China are engaged in a titanic information war over the pandemic, one that has added a new dimension to their global rivalry...

‘There Is No National Lockdown’

The amplification of the fake lockdown messages was a notable instance of China’s use of covert disinformation messaging, American officials said.

A couple of versions of the message circulated widely, according to The Times analysis. The first instance tracked by The Times appeared on March 13, as many state officials were enacting social distancing policies. This version said Mr. Trump was about to invoke the Stafford Act to shut down the country...

Another version appeared on March 15, The Times found. This one said Mr. Trump was about to deploy the National Guard, military units and emergency responders across the United States while imposing a one-week nationwide quarantine.

That same day, the National Security Council announced on Twitter that the messages were fake...

Since January, Americans have shared many other messages that included disinformation: that the virus originated in a U.S. Army laboratory at Fort Detrick in Maryland, that it can be killed with garlic water, vitamin C or colloidal silver, that it thrives on ibuprofen. Often the posts are attributed to an unnamed source in the U.S. government or an institution such as Johns Hopkins University or Stanford University.

73 de KE4SKY
"Almost Heaven" West Virginia
24 April 2020, 00:33,
RE: Chinese Agents Helped Spread Messages That Sowed Virus Panic in U.S., Officials Say
Donald doesn't like the Chinese
Divn't eat Bats
25 April 2020, 14:24,
RE: Chinese Agents Helped Spread Messages That Sowed Virus Panic in U.S., Officials Say
Seems to me that yet again Donald has a lot of people against him that have access to the media.

Personally I think that China knows that Trump is going to use the covid issue against them so they are going to be backing the dims up with words and actions in an attempt to mitigate what Trump can do.
Skean Dhude
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. - Charles Darwin

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