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Social media monitoring in China: Twitter closes account of New Zealand professor for criticizing Chinese president – Twitter closes account of New Zealand professor for criticizing Chinese president

Wellington
A New Zealand professor says he made fun of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Twitter has temporarily closed his account. Professor Ann Marie Brady of the University of Canterbury is an expert on Chinese foreign policy and a staunch critic of the Communist Party. Last week he tweeted mocking the party’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

He said Twitter made two of his tweets “unavailable” and his account was temporarily suspended over the weekend, after which the account was reactivated on Monday. No explanation was given by Twitter for this action. Columnist Edward Lucas wrote in The Times newspaper in Britain that it may have been done because of an online complaints campaign by Communist Party agents.

Lucas wrote: “After I expressed my outrage on Twitter and filed numerous complaints, his account was restarted.” Brady tweeted his thanks to Lucas and said he had not received a response from Twitter. Brady wrote: “Less influential people who speak out against Chinese sanctions will be less likely to be heard. Twitter seems to have forgotten that this is not working for Xi Jinping.

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