by WorldTribune Staff, October 26, 2017
Sacrificing principle, not to mention truth, for the elusive attraction of China’s massive market, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have bowed to Beijing and compromised the standards of journalistic integrity once fiercely upheld by the American free press.
The most recent suspension by Twitter means that three social media platforms have jointly effected a virtual global blackout on the nonstop revelations by a billionaire Chinese dissident who has exposed corruption and intelligence secrets at the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Guo Wengui had already been silenced in China.
The three social media giants that threaten to effectively displace traditional U.S. news media outlets, have relented under intense pressure from China’s increasingly powerful communist party ruler and restricted Guo’s accounts. The crackdown over the past several months has been chronicled by national security correspondent Bill Gertz.
Guo said several Twitter accounts he used to reach more than 700,000 followers had been suspended while YouTube restricted live streaming of his widely-watched channel.
Facebook, which has feverishly sought, though unsuccessfully, to enter the Chinese social media market, blocked pages associated with Guo after receiving a complaint last month.
Guo told the Washington Free Beacon he did not know the reason for the suspension, but said “I think China pressured them.”
Related: ‘China dream’: Xi Jinping proclaims ‘new era’ after silencing U.S.-based billionaire dissident, Oct. 18, 2017
Reporting for the Free Beacon on Oct. 26, Bill Gertz noted that “China has unleashed its government-backed troll army known as the 50 Cent Army – tens of thousands of cyber activists who target critics of the Beijing regime. The name is derived from the trolls being paid the equivalent of 50 cents for each pro-government post.”
One of China’s most notorious trolls, identified as Wang Yuchu, who uses the Twitter handle @RiuMaZhanJ, translated in English to “war bitch,” has engaged in targeting Guo on social media, Gertz’s report said.
“Chinese trolls have been attacking Guo and his supporters and have flooded social media companies with complaints about Guo, a campaign that likely contributed to the decisions to restrict his social media account,” the report said.
Rep. Chris Smith, co-chairman of the Congressional-Executive China Commission, said in a statement that “If U.S. social media firms are doing Beijing’s bidding and censoring the accounts of Guo Wengui, it is the type of servile kowtowing unfitting of American companies whose business model depends on the freedom of expression.”
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube “are all blocked in China,” Smith noted, adding that “this action will not curry any favors in Beijing and it only extends China’s censorship regime to American soil – silencing a major critic of the Communist Party’s excesses and abuse of power.”