Fake news and defamatory content are not exclusive to western social networks. At ChinaWeChat, Weibo and Douyin have been taking steps to remove “inappropriate” content about the war in Ukraine. The deleted posts belittle women in the country, incite young people to participate in the conflicts and make fun of the situation – a reflection of the massive support for the action of the Russia.
Weibo deleted 4,000 posts that praised the war, made jokes or spread vulgar content. In addition, it temporarily banned or terminated 105 accounts involved with “abusive and provocative” content. The social network is the Chinese equivalent of Twitter in terms of public debate.
Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, removed more than 3,500 videos that vulgarized or trivialized the war, contained incendiary information or unfriendly comments.
Among the contents that appeared on Chinese social networks, some men said they had no problem accepting “beautiful Ukrainian women” who wanted to flee to the country. False information also circulated saying that students could receive credit if they enlisted to fight in Ukraine.
On Douyin, false information said that typing “Ukraine” generated “explosive effects” on the app’s screen. It was used in many click-bait posts, created just to generate engagement.
“Individuals have taken the opportunity to post questionable information about global events,” reads a WeChat statement published on Friday.
The post was later shared by the Chinese Administration of Cyberspace, the body responsible for overseeing the internet in the country.
Chinese Internet is pro-Putin and against the West
O New York Times says that the Chinese internet is mostly pro-Russia, pro-war and pro-Putin.
according to Washington Post, many of the comments on social media show support for Russia, and some Weibo users were surprised to learn that the country’s citizens were protesting the war. For them, these Russians have been “brainwashed” by the West.
The New York newspaper explains that China has been taking a very discreet official position. The Asian country does not use the term “invasion” to refer to the facts, and neither condemns nor supports the Russian action.
Even so, Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen as a victim of political, ideological and military aggression from the West by netizens.
O New York Times says that the perspective on the networks is that the world is a zero-sum game between the Asian country and the West, especially the US.
This view would be the result of a tougher foreign policy taken in recent years, with journalists from state media and diplomats much more aggressive in their online statements.
Despite these episodes, there are also users interested in better understanding what is happening.
O South China Morning Post says that the hashtags “Why Russia is attacking Ukraine” and “Russian and Ukrainian forces exchange fire” have trended on Weibo and Douyin, with millions of views and comments.
In a video posted on Weibo, a Chinese student in Ukraine asks other users not to make jokes about the war. “It is we, your compatriots on the battlefield, who pay for your actions.”
Even so, some users drew a parallel between the Russian action in Ukraine and the situation in Taiwan, considered a rebel province by the Chinese government. “Keep an eye out, Taiwan,” reads one post.
Com informações: TechCrunch, South China Morning Post, The Washington Post, The New York Times.