Big Tech policies around misinformation are under the microscope. Are they being enforced consistently, or with bias? On Twitter, NTD found a striking double standard when it comes to tweets by a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson.
What’s happened over the past few months with the election has shown Twitter’s selective censorship more clearly than ever.
When election results were being contested in a number of states, tweets about election fraud were flagged as disputed claims. Recently, President Donald Trump and his supporters are being blocked from posting.
Twitter defends the actions by saying they are upholding civic integrity and calling it a way to help keep Twitter a reliable source for information. But a double standard is seen here because Twitter has failed to flag content that was proven to be propaganda and disinformation.
One example of deceitful propaganda posted by a Chinese government foreign ministry spokesperson is a tweet denying the existence of forced labor in the country, calling it the “biggest lie of the century.”
But extensive investigative reporting has proven that the Chinese Communist Party has in fact persecuted religious believers and ethnic minorities since the cultural revolution in 1949—including the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual discipline as well as the Uyghurs—a Turkish ethnic group.
NTD interviewed Salih Hudayar, the founder of the Washington-based East Turkistan National Awakening Movement, on this issue.
“Knowing this fact, Twitter is still allowing China’s accounts, official accounts, Chinese state media, Chinese official accounts, to propagate this, sending a wrong message to the international community, to viewers, and demonizing the Uyghurs. So this is totally unacceptable. I think it’s quite hypocritical,” said Hudayar.
The Chinese government foreign ministry spokesperson also posted a propaganda video with cheerful music and smiling workers at factories in Xinjiang, where Uyghurs continue to be persecuted. Yet these posts remain unflagged by Twitter.
A Twitter spokesperson told Fox News that the tweets didn’t violate the company’s rules.
If Twitter is really trying to maintain as “a reliable source [of] information” why would they avoid flagging what has been proven as blatant disinformation?
Hudayar says he thinks that it might be because Twitter might be trying to use this as a way to win over the Chinese leadership and enter into the Chinese market.
Hudayar argues that this type of behavior could have lasting impacts on generations to come.