NZ Academic’s Twitter Account Restricted After Posts Criticised Beijing

By Daniel Y. Teng
Daniel Y. Teng
Daniel Y. Teng
July 6, 2021 Updated: July 6, 2021

New Zealand-based China expert Anne-Marie Brady’s claims her Twitter account was temporarily restricted on July 4, after she posted a link to an op-ed criticising the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s 100th-anniversary celebrations.

The professor wrote on Twitter that after initially posting her op-ed, she was notified by the social media giant that her post was “unavailable.”

Her account was later restricted temporarily. A day later, her account was available again.

“Here are the two tweets which were made ‘unavailable’ and led to my account being suspended. Seems one must never make fun of the Dear Leader,” she wrote.

Twitter has denied censoring Brady.

“To set the record straight, the assertion that Twitter is in coordination with any government to suppress speech has no basis in fact whatsoever. We advocate for a free, global and open internet and remain a staunch defender of freedom of expression,” a spokesperson told Newshub.

“We can confirm that Twitter did not take any action against any of the tweets made by the referenced account. When we detect unusual activity from an account we may, in some cases, add notices temporarily until we have confirmation from the account owner. In this case, the account in question has already been recovered.”

One Twitter user suggested that Brady may have been subjected to an online campaign where multiple users complained about her post and triggered a review process.

“So, u were ‘attacked’ by pinkies, people that support CCP & probably organised, that tried to silence u, not by CCP directly or by Twitter,” the user wrote.

Professor Anne-Marie Brady
Professor Anne-Marie Brady, acknowledged internationally as an expert on Chinese affairs recently presented a paper to a conference in the United States titled Magic Weapons. (University of Canterbury)

Brady has faced intimidation for her efforts to expose the CCP in the past.

Last week, the professor at Canterbury University revealed that unidentified individuals have appeared in her classrooms to “observe” her teaching. In one case, she had to force a person to leave.

Meanwhile, Twitter has faced criticism for its moderation of content, and is engaged in ongoing disputes with the governments of Nigeria and India.

In June, the Nigerian government suspended Twitter indefinitely after the social media giant removed posts from President Muhammadu Buhari.

In May, Twitter flagged posts by party leaders as “manipulated media,” including content from a spokesperson from the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The Indian government has responded by tightening regulations around the social media giant.

Daniel Y. Teng
Daniel Y. Teng