North Korean propagandist is allowed on Twitter, but not Trump

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Amid Twitter’s purge of celebrities, conservative activists, and the former president of the United States, one account survives — that of a Spanish aristocrat who has become a loyal propagandist for North Korea.

Twitter justifies its suspensions by citing rules that are often vague and almost always arbitrary in their enforcement. On their face, some rules are somewhat clear, such as Twitter’s policy on promoting violent extremist organizations. But most are more like the “private information policy” used to suspend Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe — they appear to be merely pretextual.

The tech giant uses interpretations of its rules and additional context too. In the case of former President Donald Trump, the company decided that his tweets “must be read in the context of broader events in the country." That leaves room for arbitrary enforcement of standards.

This brings us to Alejandro Cao de Benos, the founder of the Korean Friendship Association and self-proclaimed “Special Representative” of the North Korean Foreign Ministry.

An ardent supporter of the regime, Cao de Benos has become its most vocal propagandist. He has denied the existence of concentration camps in the country, asserting in an interview that “there are no political prisoners.”

Cao de Benos also spreads the North Korean regime’s propaganda on the internet to his more than 70,000 Twitter followers.

Take a quick look at his Twitter account, and you can find multiple Twitter rules violations.

On May 1, Cao de Benos tweeted out a North Korean propaganda poster that translates to, “More power to the battlefields, blowing the spark of innovation.”

A May 1st post of Cao de Benós featuring a North Korean propaganda poster (Screenshot)

Read alone, the poster could be interpreted as a call to mobilize for battle. With more context, this tweet is part of North Korea’s longer-term saber-rattling toward Japan, South Korea, and the U.S.

In February, he praised the late dictator Kim Jong-Il, a man who Cao de Benos says “turned [North Korea] into a nuclear power."

A February 16th tweet by Cao de Benós (Screenshot)

Twitter has not fact-checked any of Cao de Benos’s statements. Earlier this month, Cao de Benos retweeted an interview he gave to RCE in which he denied that orphans were working in North Korean mines. Even the state-run Korean Central News Agency stated that orphans are working in fields, coal mines, and other industries.

A retweet by Cao de Benós (Screenshot)

Based on Twitter’s subjective standards, Alejandro Cao de Benos’s account would be promoting a ruthless regime. By denying human rights abuses and sharing propaganda, he is providing a service to further the North’s goals: deflecting questions of its own human rights violations.

The North Korean regime itself has engaged in attacks against civilians to further its aims. In 2010, the regime bombarded the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing two marines and forcing civilians to flee.

And in 2020, the regime bombed the inter-Korean liaison office, signaling that it did not wish to continue the peace process started by Trump in Singapore.

By these counts, the North Korean regime can be considered a “violent extremist organization.” And by promoting its propaganda, Cao de Benos could have been suspended.

And if that’s not enough, Cao de Benos has been accused of facilitating North Korea’s illicit business dealings.

Undercover footage in the 2020 documentary The Mole: Undercover in North Korea shows Cao de Benos discussing the sale of weapons and a drug similar to methamphetamine.

Cao de Benos flatly denies allegations of wrongdoing, but Vice News reported that he was arrested in 2016 for possession of at least three modified pistols that he purchased from alleged traffickers.

So, in its infinite wisdom, Twitter lets him spew propaganda for a violent, repressive, rogue regime, but the 45th president of the U.S. remains suspended for questioning the results of a past election. Here lies the double-standard.

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Tags: Twitter, North Korea, Big Tech, Censorship

Original Author: Samuel Kim

Original Location: North Korean propagandist is allowed on Twitter, but not Trump

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