China’s UK embassy has asked Twitter to “make thorough investigations” after some rogue liked tweets appeared on its ambassador’s profile.
Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador to the UK, appeared to have liked a clip from an adult content account (aka soft porn) with Chinese subtitles as well as posts that criticized the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and showed blindfolded Uighurs being detained.
According to the BBC, officials claimed that “anti-Chinese elements [had] viciously attacked” Mr. Liu’s account in a “despicable” plot designed to “deceive the public”.
One of the liked tweets read:
“China has always adhered to the principle of making lip service to non-interference in internal affairs so they can murder their own people without condemnation by the world. Free Hong Kong, Free Manchuria, Free Mongolia, Free the Uighurs, Free the Shan, overthrow the Thai junta.”
Another was drone footage of Uighur Muslims being taken to an alleged concentration camp (according to the tweet). As the BBC points out, Beijing has consistently denied holding large numbers of the Uighur Muslim minority in camps against their will in the western Xinjiang region, including Mr. Liu himself.
Although Twitter is blocked in mainland China, government officials have begun to create accounts. Mr. Liu joined the social media platform in October last year.
Social media and fake news, increasingly, go hand in hand. It is also often used to spread awareness about injustices failing to be reported on by major media outlets. Though some users theorized that Mr. Liu had accidentally liked the pornographic tweet (easy mistake to make) and so was liking the tweets criticizing the CCP as a ploy, officials adamantly deny this.
A statement by the embassy reads:
Recently, some anti-China elements viciously attacked Ambassador Liu Xiaoming’s Twitter account and employed despicable methods to deceive the public. The Chinese Embassy strongly condemns such abominable behaviour.
The Embassy has reported this to Twitter company and urged the latter to make thorough investigations and handle this matter seriously. The Embassy reserves the right to take further actions and hope that the public will not believe or spread such rumour.