Twitter users in China found their timelines filled with pornographic spam posts as they attempted to gain information on the current nationwide anti-Covid lockdown protests.

The protests have been present in cities such as Shanghai, Wuhan and the nation's capital, Beijing.

However, information regarding the ongoing protests is difficult to come by on Twitter as numerous suspected bot accounts posted links to adult material and escort services using the hashtag of Chinese cities.

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The inability to gain fruitful information on the protests was quickly noticed by numerous journalists who subsequently complained about the difficulty to find details on the protests in particular cities.

One of those journalists was Rebecca Choong Wilkins of Bloomberg who tweeted: “Twitter is being flooded with spam posts that make it harder to discover content about the protests breaking out across China.

“The posts, many of which are sexually explicit, use hashtags referring to Shanghai and other Chinese cities."

The possibility of Chinese language spam accounts being at fault was suggested by Air-Moving Device, a Twitter account that tracks Chinese news.

They tweeted that the accounts were filling the news section of Twitter with adult material.

“Search for Beijing/Shanghai/other cities in Chinese on Twitter and you’ll mostly see ads for escorts/porn/gambling, drowning out legitimate search results," the post said.

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"Data analysis in this thread suggests that there has been a significant uptick in these spam tweets."

David Cowhig, a retired US diplomat, tweeted his thoughts on the increase of spam tweets.

He said: "Chinese net censors are attacking this Twitter tag by posting great numbers of sexy photos to distract people from Wuhan protests? Or just to jam the channel?"

With Twitter being blocked by Beijing's internet censors in Mainland China, some Chinese users are forced to use the app through the use of VPNs.


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