China Scholar Who Dared to Mock Xi Jinping Gets Account Restricted By Twitter
Platform later marked the tweets as 'unavailable' and the account was restricted
A renowned China scholar has said her account has been temporarily restricted by social media giant Twitter after she criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The New Zealand academic added that other social media players like Facebook and LinkedIn also appeared just as eager to silence those who dare to question the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Anne-Marie Brady, a professor at the University of Canterbury, is an expert on how China uses political influence to exert power around the world.
She also poked fun at the 100th-anniversary celebrations of the CCP and asked why hardly anyone else turned up for the event.
Brady suggested an alternative headline which was celebrating the events.
“Xi: it's my Party, and I’ll cry if I want to,” she wrote.
Twitter later marked the tweets as “unavailable,” and the account was restricted over the weekend but was later restored on Monday.
As usual, Twitter failed to say why they restricted the account, but it is widely known that the CCP activity works to silence critics of its Communist regime.
British columnist Edward Lucas wrote that pressure by Communist Party agents would have likely triggered an automatic response.
“After I had stoked a furor on Twitter and sent umpteen complaints, her account was restored,” Lucas wrote.
“Less prominent victims of Chinese censorship would have scantier chances of redress.”
Brady tweeted her thanks to Lucas, saying she’d been unable to get a reply from the social media giant herself.
“Seems like @Twitter may have briefly forgotten they don’t work for Xi Jinping,” Brady wrote.
Twitter said that when it detects unusual activity from an account, it can issue temporary notices until confirmation 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 in fact whatsoever,” Twitter said.
“We advocate for a free, global, and open internet and remain a staunch defender of freedom of expression.”
Last year, a leading virologist-turned-whistleblower was suspended by Twitter after claiming the Chinese Communist Party created COVID-19 in a lab and "intentionally" released it onto the public.
Dr. Li-Meng Yan, who was studying the early outbreak of COVID-19 in China, published a report claiming she has proof that the Chinese government manufactured and released the coronavirus that led to mass shutdowns and deaths across the world.
Twitter later suspended her account while Facebook has restricted posts of her interviews and flagged the information as "false."