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U.S. Senators urge Twitter to ban Chinese Communist Party from platform

The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016.

The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

“While the coronavirus pandemic is afflicting families, governments, and markets around the world, the Chinese Communist Party is waging a massive propaganda campaign to rewrite the history of COVID-19 and whitewash the Party’s lies to the Chinese people and the world,” wrote Senators Ben Sasse and Congressman Mike Gallagher in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorse.

Two influential Republican lawmakers on Friday urged Twitter to ban the Chinese Communist Party from using its platform for spreading “propaganda and whitewash” the entire history of its alleged coronavirus cover-up.

“While the coronavirus pandemic is afflicting families, governments, and markets around the world, the Chinese Communist Party is waging a massive propaganda campaign to rewrite the history of COVID-19 and whitewash the Party’s lies to the Chinese people and the world,” wrote Senators Ben Sasse and Congressman Mike Gallagher in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorse.

The widespread use of Twitter by communist officials of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) during this crisis emphasises the contradiction in officials from governments that deny their citizens access to social media platforms like Twitter having access to those same platforms, oftentimes to spread disinformation, they alleged.

“By banning Twitter in China, the Chinese Communist Party is keeping its citizens in the dark,” the two lawmakers said.

“By putting propaganda on Twitter, the Chinese Communist Party is lying to the rest of the world,” the Senators wrote.

“We believe that the propaganda campaign Chinese government officials are currently waging on Twitter -- especially during the current global crisis -- merits the removal of these individual accounts from the platform,” the letter said.

In an accompanying statement, Sasse and Gallagher said that it is clear that the Chinese Communist Party officials are using Twitter to “disseminate propaganda” in the midst of a dangerous global crisis.

“Even worse, this propaganda obscures and confuses users over the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and potentially undermines efforts to contain and control the outbreak. We believe this behaviour more than warrants their removal from the platform,” they said.

“Additionally, given the humanitarian importance of free and open access to the internet, we believe that access to social media platforms should be denied to government officials from countries that prohibit their own populations from accessing this very content,” the two lawmakers wrote.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 8:18:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-senators-urge-twitter-to-ban-chinese-communist-party-from-platform/article31125568.ece

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