Translated by: Ermat
On May 15, 2022, Mr. Guo Wengui focused on the suppression of Mr. Wengui and the Whistleblower Movement by social media in the past few years in the live broadcast, and more and more data are also confirming this.
In fact, back in 2019, a special research institute analyzed the cyber attacks launched by the Chinese Communist Party against Mr. Guo, which ranked first in the world for their duration and intensity. The research institute from Australia is known as the Australia Strategic Policy Institute, or ASPI for short, an independent think tank established by the Australian government in 2001 and paid in part by the Australian Department of Defense. Other sources of income include sponsorship, commissioned assignments, membership programs, publication sales, advertising and event registration fees, etc. ASPI is a parastatal research institute.
According to the ASPI website, it was established to provide timely expert advice to national leaders on Australia’s strategic and defense needs.
In 2019, Twitter released data on a number of Twitter accounts whose users were involved in attacks against protests in Hong Kong, all of which were linked to the Chinese Communist government.After collecting and initially analyzing this data from Twitter, researchers at the International Cyber Policy Center (ICPC), a division of ASPI, found that the attacks against the Hong Kong protests were a relatively small and ad hoc action, not a sophisticated information war planned in advance.
It was also ASPI’s move that researchers found that these Twitter accounts carried out a huge cyber attack against Mr. Guo, dating back as early as April 2017, after the VOA “disconnection” incident. The most persistent target of all these CCP-linked Twitter accounts is Mr. Guo Wengui, much larger than the cyberattacks against the Hong Kong protests.
The cyber-attack campaign against Mr. Guo began on April 24, 2017, five days after Interpol issued a red notice, and then continued until the end of July 2019.
The ASPI researchers captured a set of data from tweets from 23 April 2017 to 4 May 2017 , which shows the number of tweets sent from these accounts each day. One interesting finding is that the tweeting activity only took place on weekdays, with all tweeting stopping for the entire May Day holiday weekend. It was also found that there was a collective absence of tweeting on Wednesdays, so it is likely that these cyberattacks against Mr. Guo were designed by a professional team, rather than by actual individuals using social media.
Data collected by ASPI found that at least 38,732 tweets from the 618 accounts that attacked Mr Guo focused on discrediting his character, with a series of cyber attacks ranging from his personal character to his alleged crimes, and from his betrayal of China to his relationship with Mr Bannon.
And the ASPI researchers also found from the data collection that the cyber-attack campaign against Mr Guo correlated with the timing of significant changes in the engagement between him and the Chinese Communist government. For example, the New York Times published a story revealing Elliott Broidy’s deportation plans against Mr. Guo on April 23, 2018, and a wave of cyberattacks against Mr. Guo peaked around this date.
Another interesting finding is that certain tweets appear to have been automatically set to be sent at a fixed point in time, such as the following tweet.
The Twitter user repeatedly tweeted the same content 41 times in different time periods from November 7, 2017 to June 15, 2018. What’s more interesting is that each tweet is posted at the 12th or 42nd minute, so it is most likely automatically posted by the bot settings.
ASPI’s research also found that, thanks to Guo’s whistleblower revolution in 2017, Twitter has ushered in a wave of Chinese speakers. ASPI has produced a graph of the percentage of Chinese-language tweets per day, based on data published by Twitter Inc., “The Language of Twitter.” As you can see from this graph, before April 2017, there was not a lot of Chinese content among Twitter users, but by July 2017, the Chinese tweets showed an eye-popping growth. Since this point in time, Twitter has been flooded with a large number of Chinese tweets, which accounted for more than 80% of all languages in October 2017.
The same conclusion can also be drawn from the following chart of new Twitter users: from April 2017 onwards, Twitter saw a large number of new users, the vast majority of whom were Chinese.
And in another very interesting study by ASPI, Twitter had a large number of dormant accounts that were activated after April 2017 . As can be seen from the graph, these accounts had tweeted in various languages before the Twitter outage, including Portuguese, Spanish, English and some other unidentified characters, but not Chinese. After they resumed tweeting, however, these accounts began posting a large number of tweets in Chinese, especially from the end of 2017. These data suggest that these previously dormant accounts were most likely acquired by organizations associated with the CCP in mid to late 2017.
The above data is limited to tweets for the period up to July 2019, and is therefore only the tip of the iceberg of the CCP’s ongoing cyber-attack on Mr Guo, but it also validates the CCP’s fear of Mr Guo and the power of the Whistleblower Movement.