Experts say we should watch out for WeChat's influence in Canada's election - 2019-02-01
Facebook announced this week that it will expand initiatives, already in place in the U.S. — to verify political advertisers and fact check news, with a focus on photos and videos — globally. In the fall, Twitter released 10 million tweets and 4.600 accounts that it found to be linked to foreign interference in the U.S. election, and says it has been scrubbing millions of fake accounts ahead of the midterms that were violating its policies around misinformation and propaganda.
But WeChat, the social media and messaging app with one billion Chinese-speaking users around the world and which is notorious for its fake news problem, is missing from the conversation. The app, which experts estimate has about a million users in Canada, also regularly censors politically sensitive content at the direction of the Chinese government.
WeChat didn't provide an official number of Canadian users since it doesn't track its users by geographic region and declined to answer VICE News' questions about its role as a distributor of news, as well as if Canadian chat groups are subject to censorship from the Chinese government.