China’s Bot Army Was Used to Incite “Racial Injustice” Protests in America

China's Bot Army Were Used to Incite

( – In early 2020, the Chinese communist government used online bots to criticize former President Donald Trump and the US government’s COVID-19 response. In late February 2020, Trump shut down travel from China over concerns that COVID-19 would spread from the pandemic’s origin to the United States. On February 25, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) marched on the streets of San Francisco with the Asian community blasting Trump for being a racist. The Chinese government was watching.

As Trump’s concerns grew about the pandemic’s relationship with China, the communist country struck back. It created an online bot army designed to promote disinformation and incite Asian Americans to protest against racism and anyone suggesting COVID-19 originated in China. In April 2021, posts across multiple online social media platforms and in various languages called on Asian Americans to protest in New York City. Some of the posts said, “racism is the virus.”

The April disinformation campaign is creating concerns. It was the first time US officials linked a disinformation campaign to China with a purpose of mobilizing people to take action. At this point, officials say they haven’t observed pro-Chinese social media accounts interfere in US elections. However, they could be gearing up to become a significant disruptor as voters cast ballots in the near future.

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