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13 August, 2020
 
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Twitter unfreezes Chinese ambassador account

China's ambassador to Cyprus back online after Twitter apologizes for blocking several accounts

Newsroom

China's ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus was back online Wednesday night after Twitter unblocked his account following a two-day freeze.

"I am back! After the suspension of my Twitter account on April 13 without prior written notice on the grounds of 'violating Twitter Rules'," Ambassador Xingyuan Huang wrote.

Huang’s Twitter account was suspended without prior notice on Monday on grounds he had violated Twitter rules, according to a statement issued by the Chinese Embassy in Nicosia on Wednesday.

The embassy said the ambassador requested a “legal and reasonable explanation” regarding his account freeze, while reserving “rights to take further actions.”

Huang said his account was “flagged as spam by mistake” after he received a response from Twitter.

A similar issue in Sri Lanka also took place on Monday, days after media sources said the ambassador's account in that country made use of 'undiplomatic language'

The American micro-blogging and social networking service reportedly apologized for the mistake, blaming the issue on a system technicality regarding spam, according to Chinese blogs.

Twitter reportedly cited the company’s systems in place that are used to identify and remove multiple accounts in bulk that appear to engage in automated spam.

“We’re writing to let you know that we have unsuspended your account. We’re sorry for the inconvenience and hope to see you back on Twitter soon,” the company reportedly said according to Chinese blogs.

But a similar issue in Sri Lanka also took place on Monday, when China’s ambassador Wei Hu had his Twitter account suspended, with the company apologizing and pointing to a “system failure.”

Media sources noted the suspension which lasted less than 24 hours came days after Hu’s account made use of “undiplomatic language” in a tweet.

Trump steps up pressure on China

Huang's Twitter account has been very active and quite popular in Cyprus with several tweets praising the local government for its response to the pandemic as well as updating Cypriots on medical supplies arriving from China.

Following the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, a war of words began to emerge on social media, including Twitter, as diplomats from the US and China attempted to address the issue as well as respond to various allegations.

Huang had fired back at US and media criticism over his country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, following an op-ed published by US ambassador to Cyprus Judith Garber who accused China of lack of transparency.

US President Donald Trump stepped up his country’s pressure on China this week, with his administration calling on Beijing “to come clean” on the spread of the coronavirus.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  coronavirus  |  pandemic  |  China  |  Sri Lanka  |  US  |  Twitter  |  Huang  |  Hu  |  social media  |  suspension  |  freeze  |  media  |  diplomacy

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