Twitter on Thursday locked the account of China’s U.S. embassy for posting a derogatory tweet that said Uyghur women in the Xinjiang province are now “emancipated” and no longer “baby-making machines.”
Twitter said the tweet violated its stand against “dehumanizing” people.
The tweet was removed by Twitter and replaced by a label stating that it was no longer available. Although Twitter hides tweets that violate its policies, it requires account owners to delete such posts.
“We’ve taken action on the Tweet you referenced for violating our policy against dehumanization, where it states: 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 said on Thursday.
Twitter’s scrapping of the embassy’s account came a day after the outgoing Trump administration, accused China of committing genocide in the Muslim minority province of Xinjiang. The view has also been endorsed by the new Biden administration that has taken over the reins.
A UN committee has also said at least a million Uyghurs and other Muslims had been detained in camps.
Twitter is blocked in China but many Chinese diplomats are active on the platform to defend their policies.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing on Thursday that it was confused by Twitter’s move. “There are numerous reports and information relating to Xinjiang that are against China. It’s a responsibility for our embassy in the U.S. to clarify the truth,” she said.
“We hope they won’t apply double standards on this issue. We hope they can discern what is correct and truthful from disinformation on this matter.”
Last year, a report by German researcher Adrian Zenz published by the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation think tank accused China of using forced sterilization, forced abortion and coercive family planning against minority Muslims. China said the allegations were groundless and false.
The development came on a day when an isolated China tried to cosy up to the new Biden administration, with the foreign ministry spokesperson saying “kind angels can triumph over evil forces” to forge closer ties between the two countries.