By Brenda Goh
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Twitter has locked the account of China’s U.S. embassy for a tweet that defended China’s coverage in direction of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang, which the U.S. social media platform mentioned violated its stand in opposition to “dehumanizing” folks.
China’s Overseas Ministry mentioned it was confused by the transfer and that it was the embassy’s accountability to name out disinformation and make clear the reality.
The Chinese language Embassy account, @ChineseEmbinUS, posted a tweet this month that mentioned that Uighur ladies had been emancipated and have been not “baby-making machines”, citing a research reported by state-backed newspaper China Every day.
The tweet was eliminated by Twitter and changed by a label stating that it was not accessible. Though Twitter hides tweets that violate its insurance policies, it requires account homeowners to manually delete such posts. The Chinese language embassy’s account has not posted any new tweets since Jan. 9.
Twitter’s suspension of the embassy’s account got here a day after the Trump administration, in its ultimate hours, accused China of committing genocide in Xinjiang, a discovering endorsed by the incoming Biden administration.
The Biden administration didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Twitter’s transfer.
“We have taken motion on the Tweet you referenced for violating our coverage in opposition to dehumanization, the place it states: We prohibit the dehumanization of a gaggle of individuals based mostly on their faith, caste, age, incapacity, critical illness, nationwide origin, race, or ethnicity,” a Twitter spokesperson mentioned on Thursday.
The Chinese language embassy in Washington didn’t instantly reply to a e-mailed request for remark. Twitter is blocked in China however is an more and more favoured platform by China’s diplomats and state media.
Chinese language Overseas Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying instructed an everyday briefing on Thursday that it was confused by Twitter’s transfer.
“There are quite a few experiences and data regarding Xinjiang which are in opposition to China. It’s a accountability for our embassy within the U.S. to make clear the reality,” she mentioned.
“We hope they received’t apply double requirements on this challenge. We hope they’ll discern what’s appropriate and truthful from disinformation on this matter.”
China has repeatedly rejected accusations of abuse in Xinjiang, the place a U.N. panel has mentioned a minimum of 1,000,000 Uighurs and different Muslims had been detained in camps.
Final 12 months, a report by German researcher Adrian Zenz printed by the Washington-based Jamestown Basis suppose tank accused China of utilizing pressured sterilization, pressured abortion and coercive household planning in opposition to minority Muslims. China mentioned the allegations have been groundless and false.
Twitter’s transfer additionally follows the elimination of the account of former U.S. president Donald Trump, which had 88 million followers, citing the danger of violence after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol this month.
Twitter locked Trump’s account, asking for deletion of some tweets, earlier than restoring it after which eradicating it altogether after the previous president violated the platform’s insurance policies once more.
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