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Twitter, Facebook abuse media freedom in reporting about Hong Kong

(People's Daily Online)    13:27, August 21, 2019

Twitter and Facebook abused the freedom of the press when they chose to crack down on accounts originating from the Chinese mainland revealing violence in protests in Hong Kong.

Reports confirmed that the two social media platforms have blocked nearly 1,000 accounts for their reports about Hong Kong, for reasons such as they are associated with the government, deliver exaggerated information about Hong Kong, and undermine the legitimacy of protests in Hong Kong.

Labeling truth as rumor and removing voices of reason have exposed that Twitter and Facebook are being used to silence voices from China.

A close look at the blocked accounts will reveal that they provide information about how violence damaged Hong Kong's social order, and rioters attacked police officers in Hong Kong.

Unsurprisingly, Chinese youths use their own methods to care for and support Hong Kong on social media platforms.

Twitter and Facebook have directly pierced the mist that shrouded the so-called Western press freedom, telling the world that there is no true freedom and no truth that's objective, neutral and rational, but information control that serves a specific country, information blocking and filtering following ideological stereotypes, and ideological competition.

In the wake of the turmoil in Iran to overthrow the government, members of the US State Department directly called the Twitter founder, asking the social network to postpone system upgrading to ensure that Iranian street activists could continue to organize activities via Twitter.

The fact that some core members of the former US State Department's 21st Century Statecraft joined Twitter and became responsible for Twitter's international strategy proves that Twitter is not so much a media platform as it is the US State Department's royal media that uses social media to interfere in other countries' internal affairs.

Twitter, led by its founder Jack Dorsey, acted as a pioneer in consolidating American cyberspace hegemony. Similarly, Facebook's move is, to a large extent, based on the rule that America is politically correct.

As early as September 2018, two Oxford University researchers analyzed 1.1 million tweets written in Chinese and found a large number of anti-China texts were generated through the use of automated robot programs. These tweets constructed "anti-China cyberspace."

Twitter's latest move has further confirmed the results of the previous study: if content released meets Twitter's pre-set ideological standards and is in the national interest of the US, Twitter will adopt a relatively loose attitude; if the content does not meet the requirements, then Twitter will remove it following procedures that are "scientific, normative, open, fair" as it calls.

On the Hong Kong issue, Twitter's standards are evident: those accounts supporting the rioters are regarded as in line with Twitter's standards, while those supporting the Hong Kong police are removed.

The so-called freedom of the press, in such cases, has become a napkin to erase traces of US hegemony, wipe away the brutal behaviors of rioters and cover the selfishness and self-righteousness of Western centralism. To cope with the anxiety caused by China's development, the US has gone wild, which will only accelerate its decline.

No country can change the fact that Hong Kong belongs to China, and no country can block the historical process of China's development. Any external forces, be it Twitter or Facebook, or the powers behind them, will be remembered by history.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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