Chinese netizens demand Instagram to apologize for grotesquely labeling Chinese FM post as 'fake information'
Published: Feb 12, 2023 11:52 PM Updated: Feb 12, 2023 11:47 PM

A "golden dragon" cruises along the Yulong River in Yangshuo County, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Photo: China Daily

Numerous Chinese netizens on Sunday demanded an apology from Instagram, a hit social media platform around the globe, for mistakenly labeling a post from the Chinese Foreign Ministry introducing the country's "golden dragon" cruises as fake information.

"A 'golden dragon' cruises along the Yulong River in Yangshuo County, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region," the official account of China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson's office posted the picture on Saturday, with a caption introducing overseas readers to the wonders of the "700-meter-long dragon lantern."

However, the post was labeled as "false information," and said that an independent verification agency had reviewed it. Instagram even provided a link to a news article as evidence that the post released by the Chinese foreign ministry was "fake." This so-called evidence is another ridiculous own goal made by Instagram.

The link, from a local Telugu language website, said that in November 2022, a number of accounts from India claimed to have shared a video link showing the river lamp in India's Hyderabad, which was actually the video of Guangxi's dragon lantern cruises posted by China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson's office.

According to this Indian website, the video posted by some Indian netizens was actually published by the Chinese media outlet China Daily in September 2022, and the scenes in the video actually took place in China's Guangxi, not India.

To put it simply, Instagram took the link to help China clarify the facts as evidence that "Chinese authorities published false information" and discredited and smeared China in the name of dealing with rumors.

The label "false information'' is still attached to the post of the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Instagram as of press time, and Instagram has so far failed to offer any explanation or apology even after an inquiry was sent to the platform on Sunday by the Global Times.

"Instagram should offer an explanation and apology for its ludicrous mistake as soon as possible," a netizen commented on a Chinese social media. "I can't think of a more vivid example of the so-called freedom of speech in the West, which is the freedom to suppress and discredit China."

"Such outrageous incidents illustrate not only technical and managerial shortcomings of Instagram, but also the West's long-held and deep-seated prejudice against China," said another.

Global Times