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Twitter locks account of Chinese Embassy to USA over Uighur post

"Twitter Locks Out Chinese Embassy in U.S. Over Post on Uighurs" 15 January 2021

Twitter Inc. has locked the official account for the Chinese Embassy to the U.S. after a post that defended the Beijing government’s policies in the western region of Xinjiang, where critics say China is engaged in the forced sterilization of minority Uighur women.

The tweet, which said Uighur women were no longer “baby-making machines,” was originally shared on Jan. 7, but wasn’t removed by Twitter until more than 24 hours later. It has been replaced by a label saying, “This tweet is no longer available.” Even though Twitter hides tweets that violate its rules, it still requires the account owner to manually delete the post in order to regain access to the account.

The account is still locked, a Twitter spokesman confirmed, meaning the Chinese Embassy has not deleted the tweet. The Chinese Embassy account, @ChineseEmbinUS, has not posted since Jan. 8, having published at least a dozen more tweets after the one breaking Twitter’s rules.

“We have taken action on this Tweet for violating our policy against dehumanization,” a Twitter spokesman said in a statement. Twitter prohibits the “dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, caste, age, disability, serious disease, national origin, race, or ethnicity.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Thursday said authorities were “puzzled” about why Twitter restricted the account, calling it the embassy’s responsibility to correct “fake reports and information related to Xinjiang.” [...]

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