Fri, 08 Dec 2023

Washington [US], December 12 (ANI): Meta, which owns Facebook, has deactivated over 500 accounts tied to a Chinese-based internet misinformation network. The accounts pushed the allegations of a fictitious Swiss scientist named "Wilson Edwards," who claimed the US was interfering with the search for Covid-19's origins, a media report said.

Chinese official media channels prominently covered Edwards' remarks. However, the Swiss embassy stated that this individual was very unlikely to exist, reported The Singapore Post.

The Meta's analysis has found that the social media efforts were aimed at English-speaking audiences in the US and the UK, as well as Chinese-speaking audiences in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet, was "mostly ineffective", said the Singapore-based publication.

Posing as a Swiss biologist called Wilson Edwards, a Facebook and Twitter account, in July stated that Washington was placing pressure on WHO researchers studying the roots of COVID-19 in an attempt to pin the virus on China.

China's state media including CGTN, Shanghai Daily, and Global Times have mentioned the so-called scientist based on his Facebook page.

In August, the Swiss Embassy had urged Chinese news organisations to remove any reference of Wilson Edwards, stating that "there was no record of a Swiss citizen with the name Wilson Edwards and no scholarly works under that name".

Facebook analysed the public allegations about the bogus Swiss scientist and stated that it has deactivated 524 Facebook profiles, 20 pages, four groups, and 86 Instagram accounts.

The persona's original post was shared and liked by phoney Facebook accounts before being forwarded by genuine users, the majority of whom were workers of Chinese state infrastructure businesses in over 20 countries, The Singapore Post quoted Meta as saying. (ANI)

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