Apparent social media propaganda has been set up by China to refute claims of forced labour in Xinjiang as many countries and human rights organisations report that China sends Uyghurs Muslims living in the region to concentration camps, gulag style work mines and quarries. Twitter has now been flooded with posts claiming that China practices mechanical cotton harvesting methods.

Videos of tractors being used to harvest cotton are being shared by Chinese people and state-run media agencies. Subsequently, Chinese mouthpiece Global Times is on an article publishing spree condemning the western boycott of Chinese cotton over forced labour.

Foreign brands such as H&M and Nike also faced extensive backlash in the form of boycott from Chinese people last week after having refused the usage of cotton produced in Xinjiang province. With boycott calls extending for more foreign brands, these social media posts are intended at dismissing the questions raised on China for alleged human rights violations. Most of these propagandistic posts emphasize that China focuses on curbing religious violence and providing employment to all. 

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Reports suggest, using social media for its vested interests is something that China has been doing time and again with increasing rapidity, In 2019, about 280 tweets were made every month by government-funded media houses and diplomats assuring that the situation in Xinjiang was peaceful and minorities were treated well. This number rose to 500 tweets per month in 2020 and is estimated to continue rising this year as well.

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are used globally for communication and a lot of naive people these days also happen to consume propaganda in the form of fake news and facts from these platforms. The requirement of incorporating a system to debunk propaganda and fake news by these tech giants is yet to be fulfilled.

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