Is the US using AI to manipulate facts about Xinjiang? – Radio Free Asia | Tech Rasta


A program sponsored by China Central Television, “The Scoop: How America’s AI Manipulates the Narrative,” has become popular. In an attempt to refute US accusations of genocide in Xinjiang, the program cited a report published by Stanford University that “exposed” how the United States spread lies through “vast networks of fake accounts” on social media platforms to sway the global public. opinion

A report from the Asia Fact Check Lab Stanford Internet Observatory focused on pro-Western propaganda in the Middle East through more than a hundred sham AI accounts. But nothing in the report argues that CCTV’s “rumors concerning Xinjiang” are a “ridiculous … false narrative” by the United States.

in depth

“The Scoop: How America’s AI Controls the Narrative” A program presented weekly with the brand sponsored by CCTV Yu Yuan Tan Tian. The show can be seen on most major official media outlets and web portals. Its self-proclaimed goal is to find out exactly why people buy into these “ridiculous rumors” about Xinjiang and to “expose” America’s covert effort to shape global public opinion through “vast networks of fake accounts” spreading falsehoods on popular social media sites. The program describes reports of forced labor in Xinjiang as “false” and uses a report from the Stanford Internet Observatory to back up its claims.

The program intersperses references to the report with interviews with three Chinese professors purporting to reveal how the US military and intelligence use “AI facial recognition, personality profiles, fake accounts” to create and spread “lies”. The narrator claims to reveal a US “conspiracy … to occupy both our land and our minds” and urges viewers to use “independent judgment and logical thinking”.

The Stanford Internet Observatory is a cross-disciplinary research project focused on pointing out the careless use of social media. Since 2019, the project has released 34 reports analyzing the context and reasons behind social media accounts deleted due to user violations.


A specific Stanford study cited by The Scoop It is titled, “The Unheard Voice: Assessing Five Years of a Pro-Western Covert Influence Operation.” Asia Fact Check Lab focused on a hundred or so AI accounts in the Middle East and Central Asia suspected of spreading pro-Western propaganda. Most of the accounts are in Afghanistan and Iran, with some in the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan. In total, there are 81 accounts on Facebook, 46 on Twitter and 26 on Instagram. Account languages ​​are a mix of Turkish, Russian, and Arabic, with neither Chinese nor English ever featured. The goal is to “continually advance the interests of the United States and its allies; simultaneously fighting Russia, China and Iran by using deceptive tactics to spread pro-Western rhetoric in the region.

For example, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the accounts released a number of criticisms against Russia, sometimes reposting relevant reports from outlets such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. Social media sites have deleted accounts created by AI technology after detecting them.

The Stanford study mentions “Xinjiang” and “Uighur” just three times: once in an overview of accounts active in Central Asia, when referring to two AI accounts posting news on “genocide” and “re-education camps” in Xinjiang, and once within a post from the same two accounts. image captionCritically, the report does not argue for or against the validity of the information spread by these Xinjiang accounts.


The same Stanford group also released a second report titled “”.One topic, two networks: Evaluating two Chinese influence activities on Twitter related to XinjiangThis is The Scoop Not mentioned.

This second report reveals in detail how the Chinese government created thousands of fake accounts to spread false narratives and deny its atrocities in Xinjiang. According to a report published in December 2021, the Chinese government has created 30,000 accounts on Twitter in recent years, classifying them by time and type. In 2021 alone, the total number of Twitter accounts found and suspended for spreading “false stories” about Xinjiang reached 2,128. The report highlighted the findings of human rights violations in Xinjiang released by various international organizations and mainstream media outlets, including the United Nations, Amnesty International, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN and Reuters. These accounts continue to show how propaganda-fueled smear tactics are systematically used to sway global public opinion.

The end

“The Scoop” misleads viewers into thinking that the Stanford report it refers to supports the Chinese government’s official narrative regarding Xinjiang. However, the results of both referenced and unreferenced Stanford reports Nope Denies the facts of surveillance, repression and forced labor in Xinjiang. On the contrary, they both show that these facts exist and expose the Chinese government’s efforts to cover them up.

Lacking any discernible political leanings, TA series of studies released by Stanford Reports focuses on technical analysis, investigating both the methods and outcomes used to spread promotional information on social media. The reports themselves do not have a discernible political bent. They analyze anything Spread the message with the message Potential political motives or intent to influence public opinion, whether Chinese or American in origin. The results of these studies Nope Denies the facts of surveillance, repression and forced labor in Xinjiang. On the contrary, they both demonstrate the existence of these facts and expose how the Chinese government tries to cover them up.


1. The Scoop: How America’s AI is Manipulating the Narrative

2. Yu Yuan Tan Tian

3. An inaudible voice

4. One item, two networks

Asia Fact Check Lab (AFCL) is a new branch of RFA established to combat disinformation in today’s complex media environment. Our journalists publish daily and special reports aimed at sharpening and deepening our readers’ understanding of public issues.

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