Briefing: China clamps down on Twitter users

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Chinese censors go old school to clamp down on Twitter: A knock on the door – The Washington Post

What happened: Chinese authorities have begun clamping down on prominent Twitter users in the country, ordering them to remove Tweets relating to China-US relations, among others. Some users who didn’t comply with the order found that their accounts were hacked and offending Tweets deleted. According to The Washington Post, more than 40 people have been ordered to remove content from their accounts.

Why it’s important: Access to Twitter in China requires the use of software to bypass state-imposed firewalls. While most foreign social media platforms are blocked, authorities rarely take direct action against citizens for using them. Twitter has a minuscule 10 million users in China, compared to hundreds of millions on microblogging platform Weibo, making the move surprising. Domestically, regulators have cracked down on short-video platforms, content aggregators, and social media services, holding them accountable for the content users create on their platforms.