It seems that China’s Communist Youth League may not have joined the Twitter world after all.
Earlier today, the youth wing of the Communist Party complained on Weibo about a “fake” account which had been set up its name on Twitter, posting a screenshot of the account with the phrase “fake goods” stamped across it in Chinese.
Alright, here’s where things get a bit confusing. There are currently two accounts on Twitter claiming to be the official account of the Communist Youth League. The first one (@ComYouthLeague), the one that the league complained about on Weibo today, is obviously fake with one tweet linking to a Xinhua article about a man being arrested for selling VPNs with a comment wondering out loud why Chinese people would even need a VPN if China had the “outstanding internet culture” it claimed to have.
Hello Twitter! #myfirstTweet
— 共青团中央 (@ComYouthLeague) September 12, 2017
Meanwhile, the other account (@ccylchina) has stuck firmly to the party line, mirroring posts that the Communist Youth League had made on Weibo… until earlier today when the account tweeted a photo of the Republic of China flag, followed by a link to a YouTube video for the song “Go and Reclaim the Mainland.” The tweets were deleted quickly, causing us to believe that the account was real and had been hacked. It has since returned to posting as usual.
— 共青团中央 (@ccylchina) September 14, 2017
The @ccylchina account was first proclaimed to be the Communist Youth League’s official account by the South China Morning Post on Sunday in a widely-shared and repurposed article; however, the SCMP does not seem to have confirmed with the league that the account is authentic.
Considering that, in its Weibo post, the Communist Youth League rejected the @ComYouthLeague account and failed to mention having an official Twitter account, it seems more than likely that the @ccylchina account is fake as well.
Both accounts tweeted a photo of the league’s Weibo post with @ccylchina advising its followers to clearly identify the Communist Youth League, while the @ComYouthLeague claimed that its posts were not “fake,” but reflected the “positive energy” that Chinese youth ought to have.
— 共青团中央 (@ccylchina) September 18, 2017
— 共青团中央 (@ComYouthLeague) September 18, 2017
The two accounts, both launched last week and tallying about a dozen tweets each, are currently at war to see who can become the dominant fake Communist Youth League account on Twitter. @ComYouthLeague counts more than 1,800 followers, while @ccylchina hasn’t yet reached 1,400.
On Weibo, the league has more than 5 million followers.
Follow Shanghaiist on WeChat