OPINIONS Twitter knows how hypocritical it is

OPINIONS

Twitter knows how hypocritical it is

Global Times

22:08, June 12, 2020

Twitter announced on Thursday it shut down more than 170,000 accounts that are "state-linked" and "spread geopolitical narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China." What is "state-linked?" What are "geopolitical narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China?" These terms are coined by Twitter based on US interests and values. 

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(Photo: AFP)

The accounts removed by Twitter mainly tweeted information about Hong Kong and the COVID-19 pandemic. The content they released probably had reflected the stand of mainland society. But as the tweets were basically posted in Chinese, most of which obviously don't belong to what Washington claims is China's "propaganda campaign." These accounts were more likely run by ordinary Chinese who don't understand English well or overseas Chinese. 

Many people in and out the Chinese mainland are very angry with the public opinion offensive the US and the West have launched against China. They voluntarily registered accounts on Western social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to express their views. Most ordinary Chinese share similar views with the Chinese government on Hong Kong affairs and the COVID-19 epidemic. Should they be blamed? Should their right to speak on US social media be deprived? 

Those who like to voice their opinions on social media have a clear political stance - not only those who support the Chinese government from the mainland and overseas, but also "yellow ribbons" in Hong Kong and supporters of Hong Kong's protests outside the city. Don't those clamoring to hold China accountable or demanding China compensate for the COVID-19 epidemic in the US act out of their stand?

Web users tend to spread information that conforms to their own values and amplify the negative narratives on the opposite side. How many will take "balance" into consideration when posting?  Offensive voices against China have dominated Twitter. A majority of Twitter accounts to varying degrees tweet extreme views about China. As a platform, Twitter needs voices that are against the anti-China content to secure a "balance." 

Twitter has removed 170,000 accounts that reflect the voices of the mainland, a further step to push the company in the direction of antagonism toward China. This shows its refusal to be a neutral and objective platform. Twitter can only secure its balance in the US when it has not only Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo and Marco Rubio, but also Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. Trump and Biden often tweet against each other or interpret the same thing differently. Can Twitter determine who tells lies?   

The US and China have different political systems. The Chinese used to believe the US has greater freedom of speech. But we are shocked that voices from China have been repeatedly suppressed on US social media. The truth is there are limits to freedom of speech in the US, that is, the country's national interests and ideological bottom line cannot be crossed. There is high vigilance and rejection against voices in support of the Chinese government. The US occasionally tries to drive out those voices to ensure that the dominance of US and Western values is not undermined. 

With the China-US competition intensifying and the US taking all possible measures to safeguard its interests, the US image as a country with democracy and freedom has been subverted. The US is a country whose words don't match its deeds, and has double standards. Its hegemony is mixed with hooliganism. Its human rights concept is hypocritical and bizarre. For instance, Washington doesn't regard the over 2 million COVID-19 infections and more than 110,000 deaths as an issue of human rights, while it takes punishing a dissident for inciting subversion in developing countries as the biggest human rights abuse. 

Undoubtedly, the US has completely fallen from the moral high ground, and the reverse and unsightly side of the country is being exposed. 

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