These New Facebook Ads From Chinese State Media Want You To Believe Xinjiang’s Muslim Internment Camps Are Just Great

A photo posted to the WeChat account of the Xinjiang Judicial Administration shows Uyghur detainees listening to a 'de-radicalization' speech at a re-education camp in Hotan prefecture's Lop county, April 2017.  Wikipedia

Ryan Mac
BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on August 20, 2019, at 7:18 p.m. ET

Extending the reach of its propaganda beyond its borders, Chinese state-owned media is running ads on Facebook seemingly designed to cast doubt on human rights violationsoccurring under the government’s mass incarceration of Muslim minorities in the country’s northwest Xinjiang region.

BuzzFeed News found three ads — two active and one inactive — within Facebook’s ad library extolling the alleged success stories of detainees at the camps and claiming that the detention centers were not meant to interfere with religious beliefs and practices. The two active ads had been placed in the last four days and were targeted to an audience in the United States and other countries.

The Global Times placed one of the active Facebook ads on Monday, in which it claimed that “if the centers were set up earlier, fewer violent attacks would happen.” The state-controlled tabloid, which has both Chinese- and English-language editions, is best known for its nationalistic opinion and editorial page.