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Twitter locks China’s US Embassy account after dehumanising tweet

The tweet targeted the Uighur community, particularly the women. China has been facing fierce criticism for their treatment of this community.

Twitter removed the tweet and replaced it with a notice that mentions that it is no longer available. However, as per Twitter’s rules, tweets that violate platform policy have to be manually deleted by the handle that tweeted it before Twitter can unlock the account.
Twitter removed the tweet and replaced it with a notice that mentions that it is no longer available. However, as per Twitter’s rules, tweets that violate platform policy have to be manually deleted by the handle that tweeted it before Twitter can unlock the account. (AFP)

Twitter has locked the official account of China’s US Embassy because a tweet from the handle violated Twitter’s policy against dehumanisation, according to reports. The tweet was shared on January 7 and referred to Uighur women as “baby making machines” prior to government intervention.

Twitter removed the tweet and replaced it with a notice that mentions that it is no longer available. However, as per Twitter’s rules, tweets that violate platform policy have to be manually deleted by the handle that tweeted it before Twitter can unlock the account.

China has faced fierce criticism for its treatment of Uighur Muslims living in the Xinjiang province and there are allegations that the country is forcibly sterilising Uighur women.
China has faced fierce criticism for its treatment of Uighur Muslims living in the Xinjiang province and there are allegations that the country is forcibly sterilising Uighur women. (The Verge)

Twitter confirmed they have blocked the account in a statement to Bloomberg.

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

China has faced fierce criticism for its treatment of Uighur Muslims living in the Xinjiang province and there are allegations that the country is forcibly sterilising Uighur women.

According to UN estimates as many as one million Uighurs are possibly being held in camps in the region.

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that China’s treatment of the Uighurs amounts to “genocide”.

As The Verge reports, at a briefing in Beijing a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the embassy was “puzzled” by the account lock and added that the embassy was attempting to correct “fake reports and information related to Xinjiang”.

In tweets that are still visible on the US page, the Chinese Embassy has shared reports and infographics relating to population growth and its policies in Xinjiang.

China’s US embassy joined Twitter in 2019, as part of a broader effort by the country to counter criticism.

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