The signs indicate that these bots or accounts are manipulated by the Chinese community. (Twitter)
Less than 15 days ago, the US government of Joe Biden approved Willow’s plan to extract crude from the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. ConocoPhillips, the company that runs it, estimates that it could produce up to 180,000 barrels per day. That is, 1.5% of total US production.
Environmentalists and social media users reacted immediately. Especially on TikTok, the social network that serves the Chinese government. That is why there are suspicions that the Xi Jinping dictatorship could be behind the viralization of content under the hashtag #StopWillow.
The big question is: why would China push content against the willow policy? There are two reasons: the first is his interest in the campaign against the Democratic President for the approval of the plan, whose final approval resolution has already received the approval of Congress. The second is that the controversy is such that it gives Biden the idea, and thus cuts the production of energy, a strategic mission for Xi Jinping who competes against Washington.
The American Federalist issue investigated 64 TikTok accounts with viral videos in conflict with the project. Many first started investing on February 28. Profiles do not include people’s faces, while videos use voices generated by Artificial Intelligence and repeat the same images of contamination over and over again.
Repetition of the Chinese war
The signs show that these bots or programs have been manipulated by the Chinese community to undermine energy companies and turn environmentalists against Biden. And although the Democratic president has promoted it from the beginning as a green agenda, which has high visibility – the media campaign may prove that China has control over the ideas of American consumers.
So maybe the US is facing another case of swaying public opinion like the CCP did before. Leading up to the 2020 presidential election, it has been discovered how the Chinese government has disseminated political posts on social media groups to deepen division among Americans. Now he can repeat the same thing.
Experts have warned of the dangers that TikTok represents. France banned its use a few days ago on the machines of the princes, as did New Zealand, Denmark, Canada and Belgium earlier. The executive director of the platform Shou Zi Chew appeared before the US House of Representatives Energy Committee and failed to explain the bonds of some officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The US portal found that it documented the irregular activity of different accounts, as on March 24 “each account, with videos that had achieved between 65,000 and 7.6 million views, was only publishing anti-Willow Project content.” For example, “Save.the.earth985,” an anonymous account that first started posting on March 2, shared four videos. One of these has surpassed four million views.
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) March 27, 2023
Suspicious viralization that did not happen on other platforms
As usually happens when a topic becomes a trend, real users began to appear who defended the environmental label. But still there were not many to run things.
“The CCP has a well-documented history of using TikTok to launch foreign campaigns and influence political discourse in this country. This review of Project Willow’s Disturbing accounts fits the bill,” said Brenden Carr, Federal Communications Commission Commissioner with the investigation at hand.
Until now, it is absolutely certain that Bytedance cannot promote the label aggregated by grassroots groups that claim to defend the environment. Xi Jinping’s dictatorship operates under complete secrecy. But to make the suspicions stronger, such viralization of the #StopWillow hashtag on Instagram and Facebook has not been seen. There are no tweets with millions of views, like on TikTok. And on YouTube “there are only about 650 videos with the hashtag”.