As censorship of large political forces continues to be a hot topic across social media, it seems as though even country-representing organizations can’t avoid consequences when they break the rules associated with a platform. Such was the case in regards to China’s U.S. embassy Twitter account, which has been locked following tweets defending Xinjiang policies on the treatment of Uighur Muslims for rules on the platform against the dehumanization of people.
The U.S. embassy Twitter for China, normally found @ChineseEmbinUS posted a tweet this month in defense of the treatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region of northwestern China, as reported by Reuters. The tweet, now removed, claimed that Uighur women had been emancipated by the Chinese government. It further claimed that they were no longer “baby-making machines”, with links to a government-backed newspaper. Twitter’s locking system requires that Tweets that break their rules must be removed to regain control of the account, usually followed by suspension. The account has not posted any new tweets since January 8, 2021.
While China’s Foreign Ministry called Twitter’s decision confusing and claimed the purpose was to eliminate disinformation, Twitter officials claim the tweet was in clear violation of rules of the platform.
“We’ve taken action on the Tweet you referenced for violating our policy against dehumanization, where it states: We prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, caste, age, disability, serious disease, national origin, race, or ethnicity,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
China has carried on a notorious effort of poor treatment against Uighur Muslims which has included corralling them into camps and even supposed forced sterilization of Uighur women. China denies allegations, but foreign diplomats such as UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab have previously accused China of “gross and egregious” human rights abuses, as reported by the BBC.
It remains to be seen if China’s U.S. embassy Twitter will return to activity soon, but after even Donald Trump was banned for promoting an insurrection in the United States before the end of his presidency, it would seem full-stop that Twitter is cracking down on even the most powerful voices and forces on its platform abusing their reach. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for information and updates.