Wind of panic on social networks on September 24, when the hashtag #ChinaCoup is starting to get a little more attention than it probably deserves.
A rumor then spreads at high speed, fueled by the excitement of those delighted to be part of it, without the slightest precaution. According to some accounts, sometimes very followed like that of the Indian politician with 10 million subscribers Subramanian Swamy or Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Laurie Garrett, President Xi Jinping was the victim of a coup and had been held incommunicado by rivals within the Chinese Communist Party.
Planes have completely disappeared over #China and there are wild rumors of a coup, staged by Gen. Li Qiaoming, overthrowing #XiJinping as the State Council gathering nears, meant to hand Xi a 3rd term.
NOTHING is confirmed.https://t.co/etwtvOqTde pic.twitter.com/srESpZuXsU
— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) September 24, 2022
New rumor to be checked out: Is Xi jingping under house arrest in Beijing? When Xi was in Samarkand recently, the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party were supposed to have removed Xi from the Party’s in-charge of Army. Then House arrest followed. So goes the rumour.
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) September 24, 2022
Nearly 60% of flights were canceled across #China yesterday (Sep 21). No reasons were offered.
As of 22:35 on September 21, 16,062 flights were planned for the day, and 9,583 flights were canceled. pic.twitter.com/jUrbJh4Jum
— Jennifer Zeng 曾錚 (@jenniferzeng97) September 22, 2022
— Sumit (@sumitsaurabh) September 24, 2022
Absolutely no flights over Beijing currently, all trains in and out of #Beijing canceled even buses.
— Monil Nitin Parikh (@MonilParikh) September 24, 2022
As India Today explainsthis dirty business has everything on the other side of the coin for OSINT, the intelligence of origin open sources, which allows everyone to access various official data and to draw the conclusions they want – the good as well as bad.
Yes but no
It’s this time FlightRadar which served as a fuse: according to some very ill-informed observers, air traffic was severely disrupted over China, which was a sign of a serious event in progress.
Other smart guys, without anyone knowing their motives yet, took the opportunity to add fuel to the fire by posting videos of giant columns of armored vehicles heading towards Beijing, or of mysterious explosions and necessarily linked to the so-called coup d’etat.
#PLA military vehicles heading to #Beijing on Sep 22. Starting from Huanlai County near Beijing and ending in Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, the entire procession as long as 80 KM.
Coupled with the rumors of #XiJinping under house arrest…#chinacoup pic.twitter.com/MKSoKP4gv8
—Stepan Gronk (@StepanGronk) September 25, 2022
—Nitin singh katoch (@MrnitinSingh) September 25, 2022
Except that, of course, all this was false: as the next major congress of the Chinese Communist Party is being prepared, in which Xi Jinping is expected to win a third termno coup d’etat was under way against the incumbent president.
As established on the fly analyst Oliver Alexander or, more precisely, India Today, Chinese air traffic has not experienced any particular or abnormal decline.
As for the videos of explosions or armored vehicles, a quick search revealed that they were old documents, reused here with the malevolence of social network arsonists.
On the spot, Western journalists were able to finish putting out this small fire, in contact with which some unwary people burned themselves a little quickly: more than ever, beware of false evidence, and those who manipulate it.
Literal Pulitzer Prize winning journalists are now falling for this complete bullshit…
— Oliver Alexander (@OAlexanderDK) September 24, 2022
Today in Beijing, I investigated the #chinacoup so you don’t have to. At considerable personal risk, I ventured out to some neuralgic key points in the city. Disturbing finds. Brace yourselves. /1 pic.twitter.com/z4CJYpQbbk
— Georg Fahrion (@schorselysees) September 25, 2022
Since last night I analyzed close to 2000+ accounts amplifying the hashtag #chinacoup. Despite this graph not being pretty enough given the large dataset, I figured out a bunch of accounts with significantly low followers that acted as the key disseminators of the rumor. pic.twitter.com/8PtfobJ6hk
— Atandra Ray (@atandra_ray) September 25, 2022
We wish to thank the author of this short article for this outstanding material
The strange rumor of the coup against Xi Jinping