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Twitter locks Chinese embassy’s account over tweet about Uighur women

The Twitter App loads on an iPhone in this illustration photograph taken in Los Angeles, California.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Twitter said it locked the account of China’s embassy in the United States over a tweet about Uighur women that violated company policy against dehumanization.

The Chinese Embassy account, @ChineseEmbinUS, tweeted this month that Uighur women had been emancipated by government policy from being “baby making machines.” The tweet cited a study reported by state-controlled newspaper China Daily, Reuters reported.

“We’ve taken action on the Tweet … for violating our policy against dehumanization, where it states: We prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, caste, age, disability, serious disease, national origin, race, or ethnicity,” a Twitter spokesperson told CNBC in a statement.

The ethnic Uighurs, a Muslim minority living in western China, have been repressed by the Chinese government for years, according to the United NationsUnited States and United Kingdom.

China has repeatedly denied mistreatment of the Uighurs, most recently on Wednesday when its Foreign Ministry angrily responded to former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s characterization of Uighur policy as “genocide.”

Twitter removed the tweet and replaced it with a label stating it was no longer available.

The social media giant’s terms of service states that tweets that violate its policies are hidden, and the accounts are either locked or some features are temporarily limited. Users have to manually delete the tweets in question if they want the account to be fully restored.

The account for the Chinese embassy in the U.S. last tweeted on Jan. 9.

The Chinese embassy in the U.S. did not immediately respond to CNBC’s emailed request for comments sent outside regular office hours.

Earlier this month, Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s account. The company said that decision was made “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.

Twitter — along with Facebook and Google — is banned in China.

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