What appears to be the official Twitter account of China’s State Council Information Office suddenly went off the rails in a series of tweets sent between May 28 and June 1, verbally attacking various Tibetan activists’ online accounts.
“Don’t try to hype things up with fabricated pictures or other cheeky moves. You don’t represent Tibet AT ALL,” one of the tweets, posted on May 30, said.
“Have u ever been to Tibet bro?” challenged another.
The tweets, while pro-regime, do not reflect any editorial style used by internationally-minded Chinese state-controlled organizations.
Messages, written in English with a dose of grammatical errors mixed with internet slang, ranged from from juvenile name-calling, like “Are u a Tibetan yourself? Go make a survey in Tibet at first before you talk the nonsense,” to the crudely poetic: “The seeds of tomorrow are rooted deeply in the heart, although someone’s heart is drying up because of hatred.”
It’s unclear if the account, which links to and is itself linked to in the Office’s official website, was hacked. When Washington Post tried to contact the Twitter account via direct message, someone responded saying that the “tone was set by Premier Li Keqiang” at a recent meeting.
All the comments have been deleted, but were preserved in screenshots that can be found on China Digital Times.