It is axiomatic that Twitter without crazies would be very much like a hotdog with not a drop of mustard, ketchup or relish anywhere in sight.
But amid sporadic attempts by the social media platform to clean house — attempts that many conservatives believe have a very clear political tilt — there are always questions about how certain accounts survive.
Nick Arama at Red State is asking some intriguing questions about verified blue-checked Twitter accounts, focusing on the @DrJialun account that claims to belong to a “Dr. Jialun Chen.”
Arama honed in on the account after it lambasted Trump supporters for the Saturday attack on two Capitol police officers before accepting that Trump supporters were not involved and blaming them indirectly.
Earlier I made a tweet, in my misjudgement claiming today’s attack on the Capitol was done by Trump supporting insurrectionists. This wasn’t the case, however Trump and his supporters have denigrated the sanctity of the Capitol building and laid the ground work for future attacks
— – (@DrJialun) April 2, 2021
But that is not the whole story.
“The account, when I first noticed it, had 52 followers, which you never see Twitter verify — and it was just started in March,” Arama wrote.
He probed further and found a lot less reality that a blue checkmark might be thought to represent.
“The person claimed to be a doctor in the San Francisco Bay Area, but listed affiliation with ‘Hospital Santa Cruz,’ which doesn’t exist in the area but does in Mexico and Brazil. The banner is one stolen from Ellis Medicine, which the person appears to have no relation to, and the picture appears to be stolen from a Korean doctor who joined Twitter in 201,” Arama wrote.
Journalist Yashar Ali also joined the hunt, tweeting his suspicions Friday.
This account was setup in March, has fewer than 100 followers, and is already verified.
The man behind this account claims to be a physician in SF and is already verified?
One of his first tweets was spreading Chinese government propaganda about the Uyghurs. pic.twitter.com/2dR7LYHKjT
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) April 3, 2021
Others shared their research as well.
Their linkedin account has the exact same “About” section as this other profile https://t.co/JJ5cRIHIYU
They even stole the sas credential ID numbers! Which you can verify belong to leyi zhang, not chen jialun.
This is a clear fake. How the hell does this get verified?
— Chris Lamping (@ChrisLamping) April 2, 2021
The account also raised suspicions when it praised China excessively.
Chinese FM: Over 60 countries authorized use of Chinese #vaccines. #China plans to set up vaccination stations for overseas Chinese in countries where conditions allow and roll out health certificates for international travelers to facilitate safe and orderly flow of personnel pic.twitter.com/TasRaG3NRr
— – (@DrJialun) March 11, 2021
Arama noted that among the few followers of the account is Chen Weihua, the EU bureau chief for China Daily, which Arama identified as a “propaganda paper of the State.”
By Monday morning, Twitter had suspended “Dr. Jialun Chen.”
Questions about who is behind the account and why Twitter verified what appears to be a shill for the Chinese government remained unanswered.
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