San Francisco, June 3: Twitter has apologised for taking down accounts critical of the Chinese government just days ahead of the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
The micro-blogging site wrote on its public policy feed that the suspended accounts were swept up in a weekly effort to crack down on “spam and other inauthentic behaviours”.
“Sometimes our routine actions catch false positives or we make errors. We apologise.” The company added that the suspended accounts had not been reported by the Chinese government, CNN reported.
The suspension of the accounts, both inside and outside China, elicited criticism from US Senator Marco Rubio, who tweeted the company was silencing voices on behalf of the Chinese government.
“Twitter has apparently suspended a large number of accounts that are critical of #China including accounts of people outside of China. Twitter has become a Chinese govt censor,” he said, the report added. The crackdown on the accounts, which came May 31 and June 1, left many users bitter because it came ahead of the anniversary of the bloody June 4 clash between government forces and pro-democracy protestors at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, the Business Insider reported.