Speaking on the second day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, Feb. 26, Blackburn said Big Tech companies “have been allowing the Chinese Communist Party to spew all of their information.”
CPAC is the biggest annual conservative conference, which recently took place in Orlando, Florida. It concluded Sunday, Feb. 28, with former President Donald Trump speaking publicly for the first time since he left office. This year’s theme of the meeting was “America Uncanceled.”
“Big Tech is aiding and abetting the CCP in its push for global dominance,” Blackburn said. “And we are going to have to stand against it.”
“China is trying to cancel the United States of America. China and Big Tech, they have a cozy relationship,” Blackburn said. “Conform or they will cancel you, sounds a lot like communist China doesn’t it?” (Related: Facebook, Twitter and Big Tech make their money in China.)
The Republican senator added: “This is why we have to keep blocking Huawei, which is the spy network for Big Tech; they’re trying to build a virtual you online.”
Blackburn talks about CCP’s shenanigans and abuses
The Chinese may already have spies in place across the country in the form of Confucius Institutes.
“They are trying to steal the minds of our children and our college students with Confucius institutes,” Blackburn said.
The Trump administration ramped up its scrutiny of Confucius Institutes in August last year as part of its broader concern that the CCP was using American university campuses to engage in espionage, spread propaganda and promote censorship.
China claimed the aim of the institutes is purely to strengthen Chinese language learning and culture.
Blackburn also discussed the human rights abuses and other abuses committed by the Chinese regime.
It was one of the Trump administration’s toughest measures to condemn the CCP’s severe domestic human rights abuses.
Twitter trying to correct mistakes in dealing with Chinese accounts
American social media platforms are blocked in China, but CCP officials and state media accounts have access to Twitter, Facebook and more.
Twitter has been trying to address that the past two years.
In June last year, it removed more than 170,000 accounts tied to a Beijing-backed influence operation that deceptively spread messages favorable to the Chinese government, including some misleading information about the coronavirus.
The company suspended a core network of 23,750 highly active accounts and a larger network of about 150,000 amplifier accounts used to boost the content of the core accounts.
The Chinese network had links to an earlier state-backed operation dismantled in 2019 by Twitter, Facebook and Google’s YouTube that had been pushing misleading narratives about political dynamics in Hong Kong.
In August last year, Twitter started labeling government accounts and state-media accounts from the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the U.S.
“For transparency and practicality, we are starting with a limited and clearly-defined group of countries before expanding to a wider range of countries in the future,” Twitter said in a blog post.
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