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DFRAC EXCLUSIVE: Fake handles from Pakistan misleading Twitteratis in the name of CPEC

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Gwadar_Pro is a China-Pakistan agricultural and industrial Twitter platform.

The official page on Twitter promotes Chinese narratives dedicated to china- Pakistan corridor (CPEC) and also to make the relations between the two more strong. This page also promotes and follows fake handles which support and promote the ideology of the account. 

On scrolling, through the page, we found that the page majorly talks and promotes the tourism and agricultural growth of Pakistan that is benefitting the country and making its name at the international level.

In our DFRAC exclusive report, Analysis Of The Dirty Game played By Pakistan Social Media Troll Army. We have already covered some fake accounts operated from Pakistani like @Xinhua_88 and @ChinaPakWW. These accounts were then suspended by Twitter after our report.

Exposing the Fake handles of Gwadar_Pro:

Many Twitter accounts of the supporters of @Gwadar_Pro are operated in the names of Chinese, Russian, Turkish, American, etc. But in actuality, they are operated by Pakistani operators. The similarity between all these accounts is the promoting of pro-Pakistan and china narratives and are mostly paid accounts. This is all done to make a positive image of both the countries and their relationship on an international level. Also, these accounts are in the support of the former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan. The pattern of liking and retweeting in all these accounts are also very much similar, with all retweeting and liking the same tweets of Gwadar_Pro in a similar fashion.

We, on this DFRAC analysis report will uncover and debunk some of these accounts and also talk about narratives of all these fake accounts running from Pakistan, including their liking and re-tweeting pattern.

When conducting an audit, we came to know that around 14,796 followers are of Gwadar_Pro are fake, which makes 31% of the total followers.

(Fake Followers Audit for @Gwadar_Pro by SparkToro)

Location of Amplifiers

Studying more than 8,000 accounts who all are the supporters of Gwadar_Pro, we got to know the location of these accounts who help amplifying the tweets of Gwadar_Pro. Out of 8,000 accounts, majority of them were running from Pakistan. More than 5,000 accounts were located in Pakistan. UAE, UK also had 290 and 230 accounts that were escalating and supporting Gwadar_Pro. Moreover, 180 accounts were located in India.

Below is the network graph mentioning the top 500 users who usually likes the tweets of Gwadar_Pro.

Accounts who mostly liked the tweets

Below are the accounts mentioning the users who consistently liked the tweets of Gwadar_Pro. Out of almost 600 tweets of the account, @ZahidSeddique has liked the maximum number of times with liking 348 tweets, @NasirAliNazir has liked 279 tweets followed by @asamkhan851, @WaqarSSG3 and @usmanMNU liking 261, 254 and 217 tweets respectively.

Accounts who mostly like the tweets

Accounts who mostly retweeted the tweets

The below graph tells us about the users who mostly retweets the tweets of Gwadar_Pro and play an important role in amplifying the narrative of the account. Studying the data of more than 500 tweets, we came to know that @asamkhan851 has retweeted 453 tweets followed by @FaisalA00965776 with 349 retweets and whose account has been withheld in India. @LailaRani_, @KenziMcGill and @WaqarSSG3 have also retweeted 321 and 247 tweets each respectively.

Accounts who mostly retweeted the tweets

Below is the network graph mentioning top 500 accounts who retweets the tweets of Gwadar_Pro account.

Let’s now look at the details in some of the accounts

(Fake foreign named accounts running by Pakistan)

1. @ErinRussian (Erin Brown)

Profile of Erin Brown

Erin Brown as her twitter bio says, is a nature lover, fond of sports and journalism and world tourism Destination. The location mentioned on her account is of Russia. She joined twitter on October 2018 but her all her posts past 2nd May, 2022 has been deleted. This account is all filled with pro-china and pro Pakistan narratives. Here is the archive link of this account.

Further, we found that around 8,177 followers of Erin Brown are fake. Which makes more than 30% of the total followers.

(Fake Followers Audit for @ErinRussian by SparkToro)

Below are some of the tweets from this account..

2. @KatteRobinson (Kate Robinson)

Kate Robinson blocked DFRAC

Kate Robinson is another such account which has blocked us on Twitter. Her twitter bio says that she is a travel journalist and a host. She became active on twitter on January 2019 but there is no post on this account past 20th April, 2022, all the tweets before the date were deleted. She is having more than 45k followers on her account. Here is the archive link of this account.

Moreover, Kate Robinson also have more than 14,000 fake followers which makes almost 30% of the total followers.

(Fake Followers Audit for @KatteRobinson by SparkToro)

Below are some examples of her posts.

3. @borisovna_nina (Nina Borisovna)

Nina Borisovna is a new account on twitter which was made in May 2022. She belongs to Russia as per her Twitter bio. She mainly tweets about former Pakistan Prime minister Imran Khan and Pakistan-Russia relationship. Here is the archive link of this account.

Below are some of her posts.

4. @kristinaMell (Kristina Mell)

Profile of Kristina Mell

Kristina Mell as written on her Twitter bio is a Current Affairs Analyst. She has joined twitter on April 2022. She majorly on her page promotes the relationship of China, Pakistan and Russia.

Here is the archive link of this account. She has now changed her username to @NimraAnum_ and the location which is now mentioned is of Islamabad, Pakistan. archive link of Nimra Anum (ID: 1516565574125563911). After changing the username, Nimra Anum deleted all previous tweets of Kristina Mell, to have a fresh start of the account with a new narrative.

(Russian Kristina Mell profiled changed into Nimra Anum of Pakistan)

Below are some of the tweets and retweets done by her.

5. @lizzie10x (Lizzie)

Profile of Lizzie

Lizzie 10x was initially @ellissashine (archive link) (ID: 1516397946677436416)as her bio on Twitter states she belongs to Russia, and works in London, England have stayed Pakistan for 3 months. She is a media personality and have joined twitter on April 2022 with nearly 1500 followers. Her posts majorly are about India and its government, to degrade India on international level and superiorize Pakistan. Many of her posts are even in Urdu. Here is the archive link of this account.

Below are some of the posts from her account.

6. @truth_franklin (Edward Franklin)

Profile of Edward Franklin

Edward Franklin’s twitter bio says that he lives in Balkans, Europe and is freelance Journalist. He had reported for Eurasian Peninsula for 23 years. And now is covering South Asia. He joined twitter on April 2021, at the time of writing this report has more than 2,500 followers. Here is the archive link of this account.

Below are some of the posts from his account promoting China, Pakistan and Russia relationship.

7. @Russia_Pakistan (Rus Urdu)

Profile of Rus Urdu

@Russia_Pakistan is an account with the name “Rus Urdu” written in Urdu language. This account provides news and information about Pakistan and Russia. The location shown on this account is of Moscow, Russia. The account was active from June 2020.

The account majorly talks on China, Russia and Pakistan relations. Majority of the posts of this account are in Urdu which majorly promotes Pakistan and its former prime minister Imran khan. Here is the archive link of the account.

Below are some of the posts of this account.

Similarities between the Fake Handles

  1. Majority accounts are paid, which have the task to promote Pakistan and its former prime minister Imran Khan on international level.
  2. Many of the accounts have fake followers and promotes relationships between China, Russia and Pakistan.
  3. All accounts have the same pattern of tweets and retweets. They all majorly like and retweet the posts of Gwadar_Pro account.
  4.  Many are fake handles masquerading as international handles having foreign names and fake profile pictures to amplify their agenda.
  5. These accounts keep on changing their usernames frequently and deletes old tweets to have a fresh start with a new agenda.
  6. Some of them have same bios in which they have mentioned them as travel journalists.
Similar bios of the fake handles

Engagement Timeline

The graph shows that @Gwadar_Pro remains highly active with its postings on Twitter. The graph below tells us about the account’s engagement over a period of May 2021 – May 2022. 

Enagagement Timeline of Gwadar_Pro

Accounts mentioned by Gwadar_Pro

The below graph tells us about the accounts that were mentioned mostly by Gwadar_Pro. Mostly, the account tagged itself followed by @ImranKhanPTI with 76 times, followed by @zhang_heqing who is the Chinese counsellor and director of culture, tourism and arts with 49 times tags. Moin ul Haque (@PakAmbChina) who is the ambassador of Pakistan to China was also tagged 37 times by @Gwadar_Pro.

Accounts Mentioned by Gwadar_Pro

Hashtags Used

Below is the graph depicting the hashtags that were used by Gwadar_Pro maximum number of times. The account used, #Pakistan maximum number of times followed by #CPEC, #Gwadar, #BeautifulPakistan, #China, #Balochistan, etc.

Hashtags Used by Gwadar_Pro

Creation Timeline of Gwadar_Pro Amplifiers

Below is the account creation timeline graph of around 13,000 users who amplifies the tweets and narratives of Gwadar_Pro. It can be seen that many of the accounts were created in mid-2019 to late 2021.

Creation timeline of Gwadar_Pro amplifiers

Conclusion

DFRAC believes in Twitter being a free and a fair platform. DFRAC has and always continue to expose handles including fake profiles spreading misinformation, disinformation, hate news and false narratives.

In this exclusive report, DFRAC has exposed some fake handles masquerading as international handles and deliberately trying to mislead people. These handles are usually the puppets of various political and international players utilizing them to their own advantage. DFRAC will continue Exposing such handles all over Asia.

To read more of such DFRAC exposes on some fake handles operated from Pakistan, please click on the links below:

  1. Analysis Of The Dirty Game played By Pakistan Social Media Troll Army
  2. DFRAC Exclusive: Fake Pakistani Accounts and their Pro China Narrative
  3. Chinese Social Media Influencers targeting foreign countries

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