Thursday January 28, 2021
Fake Cluster Boosts Huawei
Accounts with GAN Faces Attack Belgium over 5G Restrictions
- 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.