Just the News:
The public scrutiny apparently worked. “Seems like @Twitter may have briefly forgotten they don’t work for Xi Jinping,” [Top China Watcher Anne-Marie] Brady tweeted after regaining control of her account the next morning.
It was a moment of celebration for the regime and its supporters, including Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) chapters at British Columbia universities, who competed for prizes from the Vancouver Chinese consulate for showing their “devotion to the Party.”
Anne-Marie Brady had a different reaction. Using the CCP’s official anniversary hashtag, the China scholar at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury mocked President Xi Jinping on Twitter, noting the paltry international recognition for the anniversaries.
Within three days, Twitter had marked the tweets “unavailable,” locked her out and hid Brady’s account from searches, as documented by a British journalist, Edward Lucas, who pressed Twitter communications for an explanation.
While Twitter told the Associated Press the idea that it’s “in coordination with any government to suppress speech has no basis in fact whatsoever,” the notices on Brady’s suspended account said Twitter detected “unusual activity” coming from it.
This was likely caused by “a concerted campaign by the Chinese Communist Party’s online agents,” Lucas wrote in his Times of London column. “With minimal cost, effort and risk, thin-skinned dictatorships can unleash a flood of automated complaints that trigger Twitter’s response” to criticism of public figures like Xi.