- HOTAIR - JULY 7, 2021 - JAZZ SHAW -
Twitter blocks account of foreign policy expert that mocked Xi Jinping
Stories of Twitter (along with other social media giants) clamping down on user accounts that paint the Chinese Communist Party in a negative light are as common as dirt these days. Many reports detailing the close financial ties between China and these companies have emerged, suggesting that there may be something beyond “fairness” or “abuse” at play here. But is that really the case? I find myself wondering after reading a recent report of a New Zealand foreign policy expert who wound up having her account “flagged.”
Anne-Marie Brady, a professor at the University of Canterbury, is an authority on the Chinese regime and the way it projects its influence around the world. During the country’s recent celebration of the centennial of the CCP’s rule, Brady sent out some tweets poking fun at Chinese President Xi Jinping. A short time later, she learned that some of those tweets had been tagged with the usual “unavailable” flag, with a link to Twitter’s policies regarding questionable content. After complaints were raised by some journalists, Brady’s account was restored, but Twitter insisted that it “values free speech” and the suspension had been prompted by “unusual activity” on the account. So was this intentional censorship of anti-CCP content or some automated algorithm flub? Edward Lucas, a journalist for the Times of Britain and one of the people defending Brady, thinks he knows how it happened. (Associated Press)
Edward Lucas, a columnist for The Times newspaper in Britain, wrote that it probably resulted from an online campaign of complaints by Communist Party agents which would have triggered an automatic response from Twitter while it investigated. “After I had stoked a furor on Twitter and sent umpteen complaints, her account was restored,” Lucas wrote. “Less prominent victims of Chinese censorship would have scantier chances of redress.” Brady tweeted her thanks to Lucas, saying that she’d been unable to get a reply from Twitter herself. “Seems like @Twitter may have briefly forgotten they don’t work for Xi Jinping,” Brady wrote.
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