Twitter employees assist Chinese officials, diplomats, government agencies, and media makers in effectively using the social network, according to a new report by Bloomberg.
The company dispatches staff to verify government users and to instruct them on using hashtags to ensure their tweets are seen more widely, Bloomberg reported. Because the social network is banned in mainland China, Chinese officials utilize Twitter to spread their agenda abroad.
Twitter announced Monday that it had removed nearly a thousand accounts spreading pro-Beijing propaganda about protests in Hong Kong. The government agents cited by Bloomberg wrote tweets similar to the banned accounts.
Following news of the banned accounts, Twitter announced that it would no longer allow state-sponsored media organizations without independent editorial oversight to purchase ads on its platform. Facebook said it had also removed accounts disseminating Chinese government propaganda, but that it would continue accepting ads from state-sponsored media.Facebook runs a similar team that assists governments, some of them authoritarian, in using Facebook to publish propaganda.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.