TWITTER REJECTS CALL TO REMOVE CHINESE OFFICIAL’S FAKE AUSTRALIAN TROOPS TWEET
Twitter on Tuesday (Dec 1) rebuffed Australian calls to remove a Beijing official’s incendiary tweet targeting Australian troops, as China doubled down on criticism in the face of mounting international condemnation.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian sparked outrage in Canberra on Monday when he posted a staged image of a man dressed as an Australian soldier holding a bloody knife to an Afghan child’s throat.
The post came just days after Australian prosecutors launched an investigation into 19 members of the country’s military over alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016.
Twitter said it had marked the tweet as “sensitive”, but added that comments on topical political issues or “foreign policy sabre-rattling” by official government accounts were generally not in violation of its rules.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had called the tweet “repugnant”, holding a virtual press conference from quarantine to demand Twitter take it down and China apologize.