Twitter Refuses to Remove China’s Tweet Celebrating Forced Abortions: “Not a Violation of Our Policies”

International   |   Steven Ertelt, Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 8, 2021   |   6:40PM   |   Washington, DC

Social media giant Twitter frequently censors pro-life conservatives but is refusing to remove a tweet from communist China celebrating forcing women to have abortions.

As reported, the Chinese Communist government celebrated a decline in births Thursday in a region where it has aggressively persecuted minorities by forcing them to abort their unborn babies.

Chinese Embassy in the U.S. treated the report as good news, even highlighting how its government’s “process of eradicating [religious] extremism” contributed to the declining birth rates.

The Chinese Communist Party’s eradication “process” reportedly involves massive persecution of Uygur Muslims in the Xinjiang region by detaining them in Nazi concentration camp-like facilities, forcing women to undergo sterilizations and forcing them to abort unborn babies through all nine months of pregnancy.

According to the Chinese Embassy in America, however, its government is helping women.

“Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uygur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making machines,” the Chinese Embassy wrote on Twitter. “They are more confident and independent.”

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Twitter users complained to Twitter about the tweet, but the Big Tech firm refuses to remove it, despite it violating its terms of service by promoting violence and human rights abuses. Here’s more:

Twitter has told Ars Technica that a Chinese government tweet praising China’s treatment of its Uighur ethnic minority does not violate its policy against hateful conduct.

Twitter regularly takes down content that violates its rules. Twitter’s rule against hateful conduct states that users “may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race,” ethnicity, or religion. Users are also not allowed to “target individuals and groups with content intended to incite fear or spread fearful stereotypes about a protected category”—such as “all [religious group] are terrorists.”

Twitter also bans “the dehumanization of a group of people” based on their religion, race, or ethnicity.

On Thursday evening, I emailed Twitter to ask whether the tweet ran afoul of the rules. A Twitter spokesman quickly responded to say that it did not. “This Tweet is not in violation of our policies,” he wrote to Ars.

Twitter’s rules are vague enough that it’s hard to say for sure whether the tweet violates the letter of the policies. It doesn’t explicitly call for violence against the Uighur minority. Indeed, it insists that the Uighurs haven’t been victims of violence or dehumanization at all. At the same time, claiming that Uighur women were being held back by “extremist” views that turned them into “baby-making machines” does seem rather dehumanizing. And Twitter might want to take into account not only the literal words of the tweet but also the broader context of the Chinese government’s actions in the Xinjiang region.

China’s tweet linked to a China Daily article that reported “decreases in the birthrate and natural population growth rate in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in 2018 result[ing] from the eradication of religious extremism, a report released on Thursday said.”

The article denied that the decrease was caused by forced sterilization of the Uygurs. Instead, it praised China’s oppressive population control measures for giving women greater “emancipation,” “bodily autonomy,” “gender equality” and “reproductive health.”

“Family planning policies have been fully implemented in the region in accordance with the law,” according to the report.

These include limits on how many children families are allowed to have. Chinese families are limited to two or three children, and family planning rules require that each pregnancy be spaced three to four years apart, according to multiple news reports.

Daily Caller writer Mary Margaret Olohan expressed shock when she saw the report Thursday.

“Absolutely unbelievable. China touting a decline in births in Xinjiang where they are forcing women to have abortions and sterilizations based on their religion– and pretending it is making these women ‘more confident and independent.’ You can’t make this stuff up,” she responded on Twitter.

Olohan urged Planned Parenthood and other so-called women’s “reproductive rights” groups to condemn the “insanity.”

For decades, China had a one child policy that was linked to forced and coerced abortions, not just in Xinjiang but throughout the country. Recently, the country changed to a two-child policy, but human rights advocates say forced abortions are still occurring.

In 2020, new reports exposed massive human rights abuses by the Chinese government against the Uighur Muslims, Christians and other minority groups. At least 1 million Uygurs have been placed in “re-education” camps since in 2017, PBS News reports. And, according to the AP, one of the main reasons for their detention is having too many children.

A Turkish doctor who used to work for the Chinese Communist Party recently admitted to participating in nearly 600 forced abortions, forced sterilizations and other coercive family planning measures to curtail the minority Uygur population in China, The Daily Mail reported last year. The doctor, who later fled to Turkey, said she feels deep regret for participating in the government’s oppressive population control measures.

“We would go village to village, gather all the women and herd them onto tractors,” she told the British news outlet ITV News. “Young women were fitted with contraceptive devices, pregnant women would have to have an abortion then sterilization. We even inserted birth control implants into women’s upper arms to prevent pregnancy.”

The doctor said she once saw a “still-moving” baby thrown into the trash after an abortion.

Echoing stories pro-lifers have been sharing for years, a recent Associated Press report exposed even more of these horrors, including police raids on families’ homes in search of illegal children, families going into hiding to protect their children, government intimidation and more.

Another former Chinese obstetrician, Hasiyet Abdulla, who now lives in Turkey recently told Radio Free Asia about the forced abortions and infanticide that she witnessed in Xinjiang hospitals.

“There were babies born at nine months who we killed after inducing labor,” she said.

Over the summer, U.S. leaders condemned China for oppressing women and minorities.

According to Fox News: “Members of Congress have scrutinized relationships between China and companies like Nike or Apple amid concerns of forced labor. Last month, the State Department sent a letter warning business leaders about the potential for international commerce to help brands benefiting from slave labor.”

These warnings followed multiple sanctions by the Trump administration in July. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States will use “the full breadth of its financial powers to hold human rights abusers accountable in Xinjiang and across the world.”

Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese human rights advocate who helped expose forced abortions in the communist country, also drew attention to these on-going abuses during his speech at the Republican National Convention in Augus