Twitter Locks China Embassy's Account Over Tweet On Uighur Women

Mohit Manghnani
·2 min read

Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) said that it had locked the account of China’s embassy in the United States over a tweet about Uighur women, CNBC reports.

What Happened: The account in a tweet on Jan. 7 defended the Beijing government’s policies in the Xinjiang region and said that Uighur women are no longer “baby making machines.” 

According to Twitter, the tweet violated its policy against dehumanization. “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 told CNBC.

Twitter removed the tweet and now displays a label showing it as no longer available. To regain full account access, a user has to delete the tweet manually.

Bloomberg reports that Chinese state media had called Twitter’s decision to delete the tweet “hypocrisy.” 

Why It Matters: On the last day in office, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a “determination,” accusing China of committing atrocities against the Uighur minority community in Xinjiang, Bloomberg reported. He alleged the Chinese Communist Party was responsible for crimes against humanity similar to those prosecuted at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II.

China issued sanctions against Pompeo and 27 other high-ranking officials on the day President Joe Biden took office, accusing them of “prejudice and hatred against China.” 

Last month, reports surfaced that China’s tech giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s (NYSE: BABA) facial recognition technology could identify and specifically target the Uighur ethnic group. Alibaba responded by saying it was “dismayed” to learn that its cloud unit included the ethnicity algorithm and it would not allow its technology to be used for targeting specific ethnic groups.

Twitter, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB), and Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google are banned in China.

Price Action: TWTR shares closed 3.64% higher at $47.60 on Wednesday.

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