Facebook and Twitter are taking action to prevent China from creating fake accounts to sabotage the Hong Kong protests.
The social media giants in the US have removed accounts in an effort to curb malicious political activity.
Weeks of protests grew from opposing legislation that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be extradited for trials in mainland China.
Twitter and Facebook said Monday they believe accounts on their platforms were a part of a Chinese government influence campaign targeting the protest movement.
Twitter has suspended more than 200,000 accounts and banned ads from state-backed media companies.
Facebook has removed seven pages, three groups and five accounts, including some portraying protesters as cockroaches and terrorists.
The social media companies say the profiles violated their platform’s terms of service.
The tech companies reportedly are discovering many fake accounts by some of these communist and other rogue nations who are pursuing propaganda campaigns and “sowing” disinformation.
“I think Facebook and Twitter did the right thing,” said Francis Fong, president of the Hong Kong Information Technology Federation. “It’s not only because where these attacks, where these users or fan pages are coming from, it’s also because we know, even like President Donald Trump says there are lots of fake news.”
“So I think the act of doing this by Twitter and Facebook is trying to restore the orders on the social media so that there will be lesser fake news so that would affect less people in a certain sense,” Fong continued.
The Chinese government said it wasn’t aware of the allegations.
Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence is warning China it needs to resolve its issues in Hong Kong or a trade deal will be harder.
Speaking in Detroit Monday, Pence said the US does not want Chinese markets to suffer, but in order to strike a deal, it needs to be on US terms.
“President Trump believes China wants to make a deal. But as the president has made clear, it’s got to be a deal on our terms because China has had it so good for so long and things have to change,” Pence said. “The president has said the days of stealing American jobs, American companies and America’s ideas are over, and so they are. The time has come for China to come to the table, open their markets and live by the rules of international commerce like every other industrialized nation does.”
Earlier this month, Trump announced plans to extend tariffs across nearly all Chinese imports — which have since been delayed.