05:47 GMT21 October 2020
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    The Trump administration has consistently blamed China for spreading disinformation and for what the White House claims is Beijing's lack of response to the coronavirus pandemic, claiming that the nation concealed data on COVID-19 and did little to prevent the disease from spreading - something that Xi Jinping's government has repeatedly denied.

    Twitter has rejected allegations by the US State Department that suggest China is using a network of "inauthentic accounts" to "disseminate disinformation" on the coronavirus pandemic via the social media platform, noting that the company's initial review of accounts does not confirm to the assertions by the administration of US President Donald Trump, CNN reported.

    According to Twitter's review, 5,000 accounts provided by the Global Engagement Center (GEC) have turned out to belong to government entities, nongovernmental organizations and journalists. The company noted that the review is ongoing and pledged to update the GEC with additional results.

    A GEC spokesperson denounced the initial results, declaring that Twitter was provided with a "small sample" of what is actually a dataset of over 250,000 accounts, while observing that it was "not surprising that there are authentic accounts in any sample", according to CNN.

    Lea Gabrielle, head of the GEC, earlier alleged that the accounts were created by Beijing "with the intent to amplify Chinese propaganda and disinformation", and claimed that links to the Chinese Communist Party are "highly probable".

    "Now based on the characteristics, content, and behavior of these accounts, the GEC assesses linkages to the Chinese Communist Party are highly probable", Gabrielle said.

    This comes as the White House repeatedly accuses Beijing of data concealment and a lack of response amid the coronavirus pandemic, recently adding Russia to its "disinformation" allegation saga. The GEC has claimed that Russia is "increasingly aiding amplification of Chinese messaging with its own network of state-backed media and bot accounts".

    Some US officials are sticking with their accusations against China of helping the virus to develop and spread, while both the World Health Organization and the US government's top epidemiologist say there is no evidence that the virus was released by a Chinese laboratory.

    Both Russia and China have repeatedly denied any link to so-called disinformation propaganda related to the COVID-19 pandemic, slamming the accusations as politicized and attempts by the Trump administration to "shift the spotlight".


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