Reply All: Inauthenticity and Coordinated Replying in Pro-Chinese Communist Party Twitter Networks

Reply All: Inauthenticity and Coordinated Replying in pro-Chinese Communist Party Twitter Networks

Published: 06th August 2020
Written By: Raymond Serrato and Bret Schafer

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and Alliance for Securing Democracy’s (ASD) new report sheds light on the tactics used to manipulate information online through the case study of a pro-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Twitter network targeting both Chinese and English-language audiences online. A central tactic of this network is the use of replies on Twitter to amplify pro-CCP narratives and to attack anti-CCP individuals or institutions – an understudied aspect of network behaviour to date.

ISD has used a multilayered research approach to provide a much more comprehensive picture of what coordinated networks can look like in 2020 and how difficult it can be to sift them out from authentic online activity. It is hoped this combined methodology can contribute to the burgeoning field of information operations research. This research was combined with the insights from ASD’s monitoring of official CCP social media networks to better understand the parallels in overt state activity and pro-state covert networks online.

Hosting the ‘Holohoax’: A Snapshot of Holocaust Denial Across Social Media

This briefing paper examines the extent to which Holocaust denial content is readily accessible across Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube. This paper also demonstrates how appropriately applied content moderation policies can be effective in denying dangerous conspiracy theorists a public platform by examining how Holocaust denial content has decreased significantly in the past year on YouTube.

Developing a Civil Society Response to Online Manipulation

This document presents a vision for a pan-civil societal response to online manipulation. In part, it argues, this will come down to capability: building a pooled detection capacity to function as a transparent, public interest alter­native to those built by the tech giants. In part, it will require new organisational philosophies and forms of co-operation, and in part new approaches to funding and support.

The 101 of Disinformation Detection

Disinformation can threaten the activities, objectives and individuals associated with civil society groups and their work. This toolkit lays out an approach that organisations can undertake to begin to track online disinformation on subjects that they care about. The process is intended to have a very low barrier to entry, with each stage achievable using either over-the-counter or free-to-use social media analysis tools.