Dissident’s Twitter Is Suspended Ahead of the General Election

Less than a week before the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, the Twitter account of Tang Baiqiao, a prominent dissident and longtime public supporter of President Donald Trump, has been suspended. On October 27, 2020, at around 11:00 p.m. EST, Tang Baiqiao discovered that his Twitter account (@tangbaiqiao) had been suspended for no apparent reason. At the same time, Trump’s Tweets in Chinese account (@Trump_Chinese), managed by the Democratic Salvation Front (DSF), an organization founded by Tang Baiqiao, was also suspended for no apparent reason.

On May 30, 2019, the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Twitter also suspended the Twitter accounts of Mr. Tang and many other Chinese dissidents. Mr. Tang’s account (@Baiqiaoch) had more than 100,000 followers, tens of thousands of tweets, and numerous internal groups exchanging private messages. Mr. Tang’s repeated appeals were unsuccessful, while the accounts of the vast majority of other dissidents whose accounts were blocked at the same time were later unblocked. This time, Twitter blocked Mr. Tang Baiqiao’s account (@tangbaiqiao) again ahead of the U.S. presidential election, which he believes may be related to his recent high-profile support for Donald Trump’s re-election as U.S. president.

It was reported that the suspended Trump Chinese sync tweet (@Trump_Chinese) was opened in September 2018 by the Democratic Salvation Front, which translates English tweets from the U.S. President’s Trump Twitter account (@realDonaldTrump) into Chinese in a bid to bring the most timely and accurate Trump tweets to Chinese Twitter users. As of October 27, 2020, when the account was blocked by Twitter, it had more than 250,000 followers, and its tweets have been quoted in various media outlets and programs, which is very influential. The BBC and Hong Kong South China Morning Post have interviewed Trump’s Chinese account manager and reported in both English and Chinese.

In a press release, Tang Baiqiao and the Democratic Salvation Front strongly condemned Twitter as an act to stifle freedom of speech and said they reserved the right to pursue the matter further.

For more information or interviews with dissident Tang Baiqiao, please call 7188407166, or email at hunanrentang@gmail.com.

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Aric Chen

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