Fake Cluster Boosts Huawei

Graphika Report

Thursday January 28, 2021

Fake Cluster Boosts Huawei

Graphika Team

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Accounts with GAN Faces Attack Belgium over 5G Restrictions

Executive Summary

  • A cluster of inauthentic accounts on Twitter amplified, and sometimes created, articles that attacked the Belgian government’s recent plans to limit the access of “high-risk” suppliers to its 5G network. The plans are reportedly designed to limit the influence of Chinese firms, notably Huawei and ZTE. 
  • The operation appears to have been limited to Twitter, and it did not gain substantial traction: other than a systematic amplification by the real accounts of Huawei executives in Western Europe, its main amplification came from bots with zero followers. 
  • As so often in recent influence operations, the accounts used profile pictures created by artificial intelligence. 
  • There is insufficient forensic evidence to prove conclusively who was running the fake accounts, or who sponsored the operation.
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