Twitter’s share price has been falling over the past few days and users who had their tweets censored for various “suspicious” reasons are cheering.
The social media platform said the number daily active users DAU stood at 187 million for the 3rd quarter, but that was up only 1 million users compared to the second quarter that ended with 186 million DAUs. The latest three-month period fell short of an analyst forecast of 196.3 million DAUs.
Could this be because of Twitter’s new, “confounding” censorship policies? But according to the victims of Twitter’s censorship, the policies are not exactly confounding.
Victims of Twitter’s new censorship policies see a pattern. AI guru Li Fei Fei joined Twitter in May this year. Coincidental or otherwise, tweets from various dissidents and exiles got mysteriously censored and user accounts suspended not long after Dr Li began her tour of duty. Those who were affected believe that Twitter is now crawling with Chinese spies.
It is openly used by China’s foreign ministry to discredit American politicians and sing praises for China. Insultingly, the same will never be allowed to happen on Weibo where freedom of speech is considered something dangerous.
Dr Li’s entry into Twitter’s board also seemed especially timely when the anniversary of the Tiananmen incident was so close. Just as some of the cynics had feared, Twitter unceremoniously took down the accounts of Chinese dissidents ahead of the date. Just a coincidence? Bad algorithms? Nothing to do with Dr Li?
Some dissidents remarked that Twitter has become like Weibo. But how much would Twitter stand to lose if affected users stop using it?
But let’s get real, Twitter’s current share price is still nowhere near its 52-week low of $20. The victims of censorship may be celebrating too soon.
There was panic on the streets of Leshan, Sichuan province on Thursday after a leak at a chemical plant sparked a mass exodus on 21 August 2020.
Residents reported a “thick fog” and acrid smell in the district on Thursday morning that they believed came from a chemical factory in the area. Many claimed to have seen the fog near their homes, while others said they saw it from a distance.
Videos posted online show that many people left the district in panic by motorcycles and cars, causing traffic jams.
Just one day later, when it became impossible to deny the leak, CGTN changed its report, but blamed the leak on natural causes like a flood and insisted that the leakage was insufficient to cause harm.
The authorities said previously that the indicators of hydrogen fluoride, VOCs, hydrogen chloride, chlorine, and ammonia in the central urban area of Wutongqiao did not exceed standard levels after their onsite investigation and thus denied the leak.
Laohei has been invited to “tea” by the PSB. The reason for them investigating him was that he ordered online, a couple of T-shirts supporting Miles Kwok in 2017. But the merchandise did not arrive. Laohei thought the shirts he ordered were lost, then two uniformed policeman showed up at his doorstep for a casual chat with him. They were very slow and patient in their approach, showing no signs that they were investigating him at first. Then another policeman showed up to confirm his identity, followed by a fourth man in plain clothes who appeared to be their superior. They entered his house and the leader went through a few books on his bookshelf. Then, they asked him to go back with them.
Laohei was scared stiff, but he tried hard not to show it. He asked for permission to take a shower before going off with them. In the bathroom, he uninstalled his social media apps with anti-CCP contacts and hurriedly destroyed any incriminating information he could think of.
At the police station, they took his mobile phone and transferred all data from it to their computers. They questioned him and Laohei pretended not to know anything about Miles Kwok and thought the T-shirts were trendy. They took his fingerprints, palm prints and even took a blood sample from him! The investigation took 6 hours.
A week later, they called him again. They managed to retrieve something from his mobile phone – a WhatsApp group with an anti-communist message. Fortunately, he did not contribute anything to the discussions. He claimed that he was added into the group without his knowledge. There were literally thousands of people in the group and Laohei managed to convince the police that he didn’t know any of them. Unfortunately for the contacts in the WhatsApp group, the police had begun to track them down.
After that second session at the police station, Laohei got more and more worried. Why did they take his blood sample? Was it to register him as an involuntary organ donor? The more he thought of it, the more worried he got. Wealthy foreigners and high ranking cadres requiring organ transplants were often able to get an instant match. Would folks like him, like Falungong victims, be made to disappear and donate their organs?
That was what made Laohei so determined to migrate to Spain at the earliest opportunity.
Yes, Tik Tok is harmless, unless you’re a moron. The thing is, there are too many morons out there. Too many. The narratives of 18-hours’ work a day, sick parents etc are often full of holes and will not stand up to the slightest scrutiny, but folks who seem to disappointed that Santa Claus is not real would desperately try to write themselves into the soap opera script and even end up fighting over these pretty girls who seem like they’re made in heaven compared to the nasty real girls back home. It’s just that the girls who are seemingly made in heaven aren’t real. Just ask any honest Chinese, man or woman, if you know any.
As LaoWhy (Matt Tye) put it, there’s a whole brigade of White Knights out there. As someone who has seen rural China off-stage and unscripted, I can tell you that the girls there don’t look anything like those featured on Tik Tok. These spotless, well-dressed and pretty girls are all sophisticated social media buffs from the city, period. This phenomenon looks similar to the “love letters” that Thai girls wrote to their Farang boyfriends, except that the reach and impact are multiplied manifold by the miracle of modern technology.
Of course, the ultimate of these charmers is monetisation (donations/sales) and just like many WeChat scams out there, they manage to swindle millions of dollars from moronic White Knights all over the world. The older fogies often criticise youngsters for spending too much time in the virtual world and being out of touch with reality. Interestingly, it’s the older fogies who fall for such scams.
If morons can be manipulated to sympathise with virtual characters adopting an exotic alien culture, they can likewise be manipulated to sympathise with an “unconventional” political ideology. This is where Tik Tok can be harnessed (with pretty ladies) to promote the Chinese government’s agenda and expunge all others.