Twitter restricted account of Chinese expert for tweet on Chinese President Xi Jinping

Twitter restricted account of Chinese expert for tweet on Chinese President Xi Jinping

An academician from New Zealand on Monday said that her Twitter account was restricted over the weekend following her tweets mocking Chinese President Xi Jinping. However, she later confirmed that the access to her account was restored on Monday.

Professor Anne-Marie Brady of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand is an expert on China and its political influence and is additionally a critic of the country’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

During the CCP’s 100th anniversary celebrations earlier in the week , Prof Brady had tweeted an opinion article which she had written for the Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian news website, suggesting an alternate headline which mocked Xi Jinping. “Alternative headline: "Xi: Its my Party and I'll cry if i would like to" #CPC100Years”, she tweeted on July 1 (IST). during a subsequent tweet, she also shared a picture of the Chinese leader and said “A picture is worth thousand words”.

She acknowledged that a lot of leaders had wished the CCP for its 90th anniversary while the 100th-year celebrations garnered wishes from only a few leaders including Russian President Putin .

However, on June 5, she said that access to her twitter account was restricted after the 2 tweets were made unavailable. “Seems like @Twitter may have briefly forgotten they do not work for Xi Jinping”, she tweeted, blaming the corporate for silencing the critics of CCP.

Later, she confirmed that her access to the account has been restored. “Opening my work laptop this morning i used to be greeted by a "Welcome back" message on my screen from @Twitter, as if i used to be the one who left them”, she tweeted.

She also thanked Edward Lucas, a columnist for the days newspaper in England for his complaints to Twitter. She said that she couldn’t get any reply from the corporate . “After those tweets were made "unavailable", my account was then restricted. Thanks @edwardlucas for raising this with @Twitter, as I got no reply to my messages to them”, she tweeted.

Why was Prof Brady’s account restrict ?

Edward Lucas, in his column, wrote that Twitter’s decision to limit Brady’s account was probably due to a “concerted campaign by the Chinese Communist Party’s online agents”.

“After I had stoked a furore on Twitter and sent umpteen complaints, her account was restored. Less prominent victims of Chinese censorship would have scantier chances of redress. But the episode highlights the way during which the web , which we once hailed as a haven for free of charge speech, now makes us much less safe”, Lucas wrote within the Times.

Twitter’s reaction

According to a report by the Associated Press, Twitter had denied any attempts to suppress speech. the corporate also said that when it detects unusual activity from an account, temporary notices are added until a confirmation is obtained from the account owner.

“To set the record straight, the assertion that Twitter is in coordination with any government to suppress speech has no basis actually whatsoever. We advocate for a free, global and open internet and remain a staunch defender of freedom of expression”, the AP reported, citing a press release from Twitter.

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