While censoring Hunter Biden story, Twitter allows China, Iran state media
‘Censoring political speech is what you’d expect in countries like China, North Korea, or Iran,’ White House press secretary tweets
Twitter is allowing Chinese and Iranian state media to push content while blocking a New York Post article that purports to show emails from Hunter Biden linking his father to his Ukraine business dealings.
The social media site followed Facebook Wednesday when it began blocking people attempting to share the article in tweets and private messages because the article violated its “Hacked Materials Policy.” Twitter also locked users, including White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, out of their accounts for attempting to share the article on Wednesday.
“Censoring political speech is what you’d expect in countries like China, North Korea, or Iran — NOT America,” McEnany wrote in a Thursday tweet. “This should scare every single American who values free and open discourse. Do NOT let Big Tech silence YOU.”
Censoring political speech is what you’d expect in countries like China, North Korea, or Iran — NOT America.
This should scare every single American who values free and open discourse. Do NOT let Big Tech silence YOU‼️#TwitterCensorship
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) October 15, 2020
Trump 2020 campaign social media director Mike Hahn said in a Thursday tweet that Twitter locked the campaign’s account after it shared a video relating to the Post article.
“Twitter has suspended [Team Trump] for posting a video calling Joe Biden a liar who has been ripping off our country for years, as it relates to the [New York Post] article. 19 days out from the election,” he wrote.
19 days out from the election. pic.twitter.com/Z9FFzridyr
— Mike Hahn (@mikehahn_) October 15, 2020
While the website labels foreign state media, it continues to allow state media accounts to push media critical of the U.S. less than three weeks ahead of the U.S. presidential election.
A Twitter spokesperson told Fox News that in accordance with the company’s different enforcement options, violations may require account owners to remove certain tweets, and once they do so, they will be able to continue using the platform. The company did not comment specifically on why it does not block or label tweets from foreign state media condemning the U.S. ahead of Nov. 3 the same way it did the New York Post.
“Before the [U.S.] election, truth, honesty and responsibility toward people’s well-being and world peace do not exist in the U.S.,” Chinese state media newspaper The Global Times, which Twitter has labeled as Chinese state media, wrote in a Thursday tweet with a link to an op-ed on its website. “The U.S. presidential election has increased, rather than reduced, the world’s sense of insecurity.”
#环球时报Editorial: Before the election, truth, honesty and responsibility toward people’s well-being and world peace do not exist in the US. The US presidential election has increased, rather than reduced, the world’s sense of insecurity. https://t.co/f4y662KyWI pic.twitter.com/FIPxdK8R2w
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) October 15, 2020
Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, tweeted on Thursday that while “China focuses on developing itself and doing its own thing well every day …the U.S. is thinking about how to suppress and spoil other countries. No wonder China is growing rapidly but the US lacks development momentum.”
China focuses on developing itself and doing its own thing well every day while the US is thinking about how to suppress and spoil other countries. No wonder China is growing rapidly but the US lacks development momentum. pic.twitter.com/JG1ra52xTR
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) October 15, 2020
Xijin also tweeted about the U.S. presidential election on Oct. 11, calling it “the equivalent to a carnival on the stage of international politics.”
The US presidential election is obviously facilitating spread of the COVID-19 and fermentation of some radical policies and ideas. It's dangerous for the US whose policies are shaped and promoted through elections.
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) October 11, 2020
Iranian state media IRNA on Thursday retweeted a post that says “nuclear power will remain in the dominance of the Iranian nation for ever” with a screenshot of Defense Secretary Mike Pompeo’s tweets saying the U.S. “will never allow the world’s leading state sponsor of terror to have the world’s deadliest weapon.”
Iranian state media Press TV tweeted an article on Thursday saying the Trump administration is using Iran “as campaign cudgel for own gains.” The official Twitter page for The Iran Project shared an article saying “U.S unilateralism [is a] real threat to human rights,” which accused the U.S. of “economic terrorism.”
— Iran (@Iran) October 15, 2020
Additionally, Twitter has allowed foreign leaders such as Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei and Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lijian Zhao to post tweets condemning the United States and its policies less than three weeks ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.
Twitter has labeled Chinese spokesman Lijian’s account as a “Chinese government account” but did not remove a post from his account blaming the U.S. Army for the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. It did, however, add a fact-check label.
“It might be U.S. army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! U.S. owe us an explanation!” Lijian wrote in March.
2/2 CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation! pic.twitter.com/vYNZRFPWo3
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) March 12, 2020
Lijian also blamed the United States for “the visa problem journalists face,” adding that it “has been escalating political repression of Chinese news outlets” in a Sept. 7 tweet.
Twitter has also not censored Iranian leader Khamenei, who has repeated the phrase, “Down with the U.S.A.,” specifying that the term means “down with” Trump, Defense Secretary Mike Pompeo and former Ambassador John Bolton in a February 2019 tweet.
“It means death to the American politicians currently in power. It means death to the few people running that country; we have nothing against the American nation,” he wrote at the time.
"Down with USA" means down with @realDonaldTrump , @AmbJohnBolton and @SecPompeo . It means death to the American politicians currently in power. It means death to the few people running that country; we have nothing against the American nation. pic.twitter.com/cq1TBZY9FR
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) February 8, 2019
In a Monday tweet, Khamenei said Iran will “make” the U.S. “regret” sanctions that Trump recently implemented against the country. “God willing this maximum pressure will lead to the maximum disgrace of the U.S. With God’s grace, we will make them regret,” he wrote.
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