Twitter apologizes for blocked China accounts ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

In this May 28, 1989 file photo, students rest in the litter of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, as their strike for government reform enters its third week. (AP)
Updated 03 June 2019

Twitter apologizes for blocked China accounts ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

  • The approach of the 30th anniversary of the bloody June 4 crackdown on pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square has been accompanied in China by a tightening of censorship

SHANGHAI: Twitter Inc. has apologized for suspending accounts critical of Chinese government policy days ahead of the 30th anniversary of a bloody crackdown on protesters at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, after an outcry among users.
In a statement posted to the company’s Public Policy Twitter feed on Saturday, Twitter said “a number of accounts” had been suspended as part of efforts to target accounts engaging in “platform manipulation.”
“Some of these were involved in commentary about China. These accounts were not mass reported by the Chinese authorities — this was a routine action on our part,” the company said.
Such actions sometimes “catch false positives or we make errors,” it added. Twitter said it was working to “ensure we overturn any errors.”
Twitter’s statement follows a sharp reaction from its users over the suspensions, including US Senator Marco Rubio, who in a tweet accused Twitter of becoming “a Chinese (government) censor.”
The approach of the 30th anniversary of the bloody June 4 crackdown on pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square has been accompanied in China by a tightening of censorship. Tools to detect and block content related to the 1989 crackdown have reached unprecedented levels of accuracy.


Bangladesh police say violence over Facebook post kills 4

Updated 20 October 2019

Bangladesh police say violence over Facebook post kills 4

  • The violence took place Sunday in Borhanuddin in the southern district of Bhola when angry protesters demanded the punishment of a Hindu man for the alleged Facebook comment
  • The man denied making the comment, saying his Facebook account had been hacked

DHAKA, Bangladesh: Police say at least four people were killed after security officials in southern Bangladesh opened fire to disperse hundreds of Muslims during a protest over an alleged social media post undermining Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
Local police chief Sarkar Mohammad Kaisar says the violence took place Sunday in Borhanuddin in the southern district of Bhola when angry protesters demanded the punishment of a Hindu man for the alleged Facebook comment. The man denied making the comment, saying his Facebook account had been hacked.
Kaisar says four people were killed and dozens were wounded.
Communal tensions often pop up in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, with minority groups saying they face discrimination.