American Big Tech platforms Facebook, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube allow the authoritarian regimes of China and Russia to spread their anti-American propaganda and lies online to nearly a billion followers. Meanwhile, these same platforms silence common-sense American voices like former President Donald Trump.
Communist Chinese and Russian state-affiliated social media accounts boast no fewer than 902,721,143 followers across 139 confirmed, active accounts on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as of Sept. 27, 2022. The two totalitarian nations affiliated with these accounts can influence nearly a billion users online even as Russia is attacking Ukraine and China is threatening Taiwan and its allies. Meanwhile, Trump remains banned on these same platforms, along with many other Americans.
The evils of China and Russia are numerous and well-documented.
On Steve Bannon’s War Room on July 2, Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is responsible for up to 500 million deaths, including the 400 million Chinese killed by infanticide or abortion during China’s one-child policy.
The CCP blamed U.S. and Western policies for possible impending nuclear war. It is also conducting religious- and ethnic-based genocide against the Uyghur Muslims, is running an authoritarian surveillance state and is starving its own people under “zero-Covid” policies.
Not only that, but the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted in May that the harsh persecution of up to 50 million Chinese Catholics is ongoing, as the Catholic Herald reported. Religious education for children is outlawed, and priests, like Hong Kong’s Cardinal Joseph Zen, have been arrested or mysteriously vanished.
The current Russian regime is overseeing the invasion of Ukraine and recently participated in joint military exercises with China, designed for war against the U.S. Russian President Vladimir Putin also threatened the U.S. and its allies with nuclear war. Putin was formerly an intelligence officer of the Soviet secret police, the violent KGB.
Despite this, MRC Free Speech America found that U.S. tech giants platform over 100 Chinese and Russian state-affiliated social media accounts. Across the three Big Tech platforms covered in this report, Twitter allows the most Chinese and Russian state-affiliated accounts to spread totalitarian messages. MRC Free Speech America found 91 Twitter accounts, 43 Facebook accounts and five YouTube accounts affiliated with the two totalitarian states out of the 139 total accounts.
Big Tech companies silence American groups and people like Libs of TikTok, The Babylon Bee, Sen. Ron Johnson, and Moms for Liberty, but have given the Communist Chinese an immense amount of influence by providing a platform for Chinese state-affiliated accounts to propagandize online. MRC Free Speech America found 106 Chinese state-affiliated accounts out of the 139 total accounts across both China and Russia, with the Chinese accounts boasting a total of 867 million followers.
Former White House National Security Council (NSC) Chief of Staff Alexander Gray told MRC that China practices “civil-military fusion,” where everything in the economic and tech spheres is accessible to the Chinese military.
Facebook and Twitter allowed one prominent Chinese state media outlet, Global Times, to amass 70 million and 1.8 million followers, respectively. Global Times and its state-affiliated accounts issued at least seven explicit threats on Twitter since October 2021, as MRC Free Speech America reported. The Global Times threatened to “wipe … out” U.S. troops. The Global Times also previously threatened to make “cannon fodder” of Taiwan and Australia. Both tweets remain uncensored.
Author and China expert Gordon Chang told MRC Free Speech America that Twitter had censored his tweet about the established fact that Chinese students commit espionage in the U.S. Chang said Twitter labeled the tweet racist -- even though Chang himself is ethnically Chinese.
Facebook allowed another major CCP state media outlet, CGTN, to have an enormous 122.8 million Facebook followers on its verified Facebook accounts, while Twitter allows CGTN to have over 13.5 million followers total across three Twitter accounts as of Sept. 27. While Facebook regularly censors U.S. conservatives, CGTN gained another 1 million followers between Aug. 23 and Sept. 8. During that same time period, Facebook censored the U.S. House Judiciary GOP.
Twitter allows CCP state media outlet Xinhua News to have 12.1 million followers, and the outlet has 179 million followers combined across multiple Facebook accounts as of Sept. 27. As China’s inhumane lockdowns in Shanghai – causing widespread starvation and suicide – shocked the the world, Xinhua News published a video of a Russian expert praising those same “zero Covid” policies plaguing Shanghai. Yet, between March 2020 and February 2022, MRC’s CensorTrack documented over 800 cases of Big Tech censorship of COVID-19-related content.
Social media companies also provide CCP state officials with access to spread their message.
For example, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has repeatedly claimed that China is not using authoritarian tactics against Xinjiang’s Uyghur Muslims, calling allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang the “lie of the century.”
Zhao also tweeted some time before 9/11 a meme that characterizes the U.S. as conspiring to destroy the Twin Towers on 9/11. Despite these instances, Zhao remains on Twitter. While Zhao is allowed to bash the U.S. government uncensored on Twitter, MRC Free Speech America found that Big Tech, including Twitter, censored criticism of Joe Biden 646 times between March 2020 and March 2022.
American tech giants have also provided a platform for Russia to spread its totalitarian message to millions while simultaneously silencing Americans.
MRC Free Speech America found 33 Russian state-affiliated accounts with 35 million followers as of Sept. 27.
A prominent Russian state media outlet, Sputnik, had approximately 355,800 Twitter followers and 1.4 million Facebook followers as of Sept. 27. Sputnik posted a still-uncensored article on Facebook in January, that both misleadingly denied Russia’s plans to “attack any country” and saber-rattled against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Russia invaded Ukraine by February, but the post still remains on Facebook. Yet the Conflict News Twitter account and the Ukraine War Report Twitter account were at least temporarily suspended for posting news about the Russia-Ukraine war.
Big Tech still provides Putin a platform as well. The totalitarian Russian president had 5.2 million followers on two Twitter accounts, and his official YouTube account boasted 132,000 subscribers as of Sept. 27. Yet Trump remains banned on social media.
This is not the first time social media has been called out for platforming authoritarian regimes. In March, MRC Free Speech America found that Russia had 39 state-affiliated accounts across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter with 38.7 million followers. Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine, Russian state-affiliated accounts have lost some followers and YouTube deplatformed RT’s channel.
Another MRC Free Speech America study found, as of March 28, that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube allowed seven dictators, including Putin, unfettered access to their platforms. These dictators’ posts reached approximately 50 million followers.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment and provide transparency and an equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.