A renowned New Zealand academic, a specialist in Chinese domestic politics, has announced that her Twitter account has been temporarily restricted by the social networking giant after she criticized the leader of the Chinese regime, Xi Jinping.
Anne-Marie Brady, a professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, is an expert in studying the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). She has repeatedly denounced how it uses its political influence to exert power and pressure around the world.
Last week Brady published some tweets criticizing the centennial celebrations of the CCP, referring both to the controversy over the celebrations and the low turnout at public events.
In one of the tweets, Brady suggested an alternative headline for a news article about the celebrations: “Xi: it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to,” she wrote.
Twitter later marked the tweets as “unavailable,” and restricted the account throughout the weekend as the festivities unfolded in China; on Monday, Twitter reinstated the account, Breitbart News reported.
Edward Lucas, is a journalist with thousands of followers, after learning of the censorship on Brady’s account, posted, “this is huge—@anne_mariebrady is one of the world’s top China-watchers. This is what Twitter’s just done. And you can’t search for her either. (see below, also) A perfect example of how the CCP exerts its control over our political systems.”
When her account was reactivated, Brady wrote, “Looks like @Twitter briefly forgot they don’t work for Xi Jinping.”
She recently posted a brief reflection on democracy, referencing that we generally take it for granted as an indisputable fact and that it “will always be available to us.” But evidently, the freedoms granted by democracy, such as freedom of expression, are being easily undermined thanks to the immense technological monopolies that dominate social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and some others.
Twitter and other social networks have been criticized in the past precisely for taking sides with the CCP in certain critical situations, instead of defending freedoms, democracies and allowing condemnation and denunciations that prove the atrocities committed by the CCP.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) published a report in April 2021, analyzing how CCP officials and its army of Internet police used social media. In this case, the “unseen” army spreads disinformation about the actual situation of the Uighurs in Xinjiang in an attempt to disprove the ethnic cleansing being carried out by the CCP in the region.
The report analyzes the increasing activity of CCP officials using Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok platforms to spread fake news and videos. Their focus is on depicting the “happy life” of Uighurs in Xinjiang and to attack journalists, researchers, and politicians who have pressured the CCP over abuses committed against Uighurs.
None of the social networks limited or ‘censored’ such hypocrisy, despite numerous reports denouncing this scourge, including governments declaring a situation of genocide following the persecution of the Uighur minority.
Twitter has been frequently criticized for allowing well-known dictators and terrorists to post recurring tweets on its network.