Twitter deletes Israeli-propaganda from Chinese Christian sect
Twitter has suspended accounts of a Christian group that believes Jesus was reincarnated in the form of a Chinese woman living in New York, after it used its online platforms to promote Israeli far-right propaganda.
Accounts affiliated to the Church of Almighty God's (CAG), a movement banned by the Chinese government, posted right-wing propaganda ahead of Israeli elections.
Whilst the accounts did not tweet out in favour of current Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the Hebrew-tweeting accounts posted religious content glorifying interpretations of Judaism the Israeli right-wing ascribe to, according to Buzzfeed News.
Hundreds of accounts were flagged as suspicious based on the work of Israeli researchers Noam Rotem and Yuval Adam.
CAG's followers believe Yang Xiangbin, the wife of the founder of the movement, is the female incarnation of Jesus Christ and what she says is the word of God.
Xiangbin lives in Queens after being granted asylum in 2001 due to persecution she faced in China.
Social media has played a pivotal role in this year's Israeli elections, already controversial due to Netanyahu's alliance with politicians associated with convicted Israeli terrorist Meir Kahane.
Jewish Power, allied with Netanyahu, is a hugely controversial group which embraces the ideas of the late rabbi Kahane, who want to establish a Jewish theocracy and have advocated the forced removal of Palestinian citizens from Israel.
Kahanists have carried out deadly attacks against Palestinians, including in 2005 when a 19-year-old Israeli soldier affiliated with the Kach Party deserted his unit and opened fire on a bus, killing four Palestinian-Israelis.
A Kach supporter, Baruch Goldstein, was also behind the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in 1994, when 29 people were shot to death at the prominent Hebron religious site.
Online watchdog, Big Bots Protect, which describes itself as a campaigner against social media abuse, said posts used "lies, libel and rumormongering" to attack Netanyahu's challengers.
It found over 130,000 tweets from "hundreds of fake or anonymous accounts" without names or profile pictures, which did not identify themselves as linked to Netanyahu's Likud party.
It acknowledged that there were also "hundreds of genuine accounts" backing the premier's bid for re-election.