Ridiculous US speech controls see pandas as state-affiliated media

By Mu Lu Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/8 19:34:23

Twitter Photo:VCG

The so-called freedom of speech in the US has always been a false proposition. Washington has shamelessly made freedom of speech its motto. But when it comes to a real clash of speech, people will see speech control measures (such as suspending certain social media accounts or adding special labels to some social media accounts) be adopted in the US. 

Twitter has recently adopted a policy to add special labels to show the relationships between accounts from media outlets and their own governments respectively. The policy starts from the outlets of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Currently, however, only media from China and Russia has been labeled "state-affiliated," despite the fact that the Voice of America (VOA), the BBC and many others which are also government funded were not given the same label. Twitter explained that its new policy doesn't include "state-financed media organizations with editorial independence." 

The labeled accounts will no longer be amplified through Twitter's "recommendation systems including on the home timeline, notifications, and search." This policy is believed to have clear targets - the voices that the platform, or we can say the US political elites, dislike.

Such a politicized move is intended to reduce the opportunity for the world to understand the real China, and try to directly mislead its audience and users, so that the US can gain an upper hand in the battle of public opinion regarding China. 

Even though the US is reluctant to admit to it, such a move is actually a reflection of the US' decline in strength. On the one hand, Washington has been using so-called freedom of speech to stigmatize China; while on the other, it keeps slapping itself in face by violating its own words. Such farces have become routine for the US, making people dumbfounded. 

The so-called freedom of speech in the US has long existed in name only. The mainstream voices in US society are those that have been screened by the government and financial oligarchs wheeling mainstream outlets, and the so-called editorial independence is nothing more than self-deception. The resignation of VOA's two top editors in June is a good proof of this.

In spite of escalating tensions between China and the US, Sina Weibo - China's Twitter-like platform - hasn't added any special label to the accounts of the US embassy and consulates in China. This mirrors China's self-confidence. But in contrast, the US' campaign against anything related to China has become increasingly extensive and hysterical. 

Most ironically on Twitter's "label" campaign, the account iPanda, which posts only pandas' daily life has been marked as "China state-affiliated media." Is that showing the US government's fears that Americans will unite for a rebellion as they find out pandas live a more comfortable life with dignity than they do? 

With such logic, will DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda series be taken off due to its political incorrectness? Or, maybe pandas will show up in US films and television works as villains ever after? 

The US reiterates that it is a country of freedom and democracy, suggesting it is the beacon that people across the world shall yearn for. But the reality is that Washington has kept humiliating the words "freedom" and "democracy" and using its well-trained double standards to show what real hypocrisy looks like. 

From robbing TikTok to the inconceivable Clean Network program, the US has completely fallen short of what a big country should act like. Instead, it is acting like a coward and rogue who plays only dirty tricks. 

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