Go Home, State Council Information Office Of The People's Republic Of China, You're Drunk

from the ever-been-to-tibet-bro? dept

Techdirt has written plenty of stories about the Chinese government’s attempts to stifle dissent online using a variety of heavy-handed approaches. But a story in the Washington Post shows China’s State Council Information Office trying a refreshingly different approach:

On May 28, a Twitter account purporting to represent China’s State Council Information Office, a real government body, went off-script, asking an account called @Tibetans, “Have u ever been to Tibet bro?”

The tone of the tweet is so strikingly at odds with the Communist Party’s turgid pronouncements that China-watchers were at a loss. When scholar Tricia Kehoe asked the State Council Information Office if the Twitter account (@chinascio) was real, the office replied that it was just “trying to fit in,” adding an “LOL” for good measure.

As the article explains, the weird tweets kept on coming for a while, which obviously made people wonder whether the account had been hacked or subverted in some way. The Washington Post checked with whoever was running the Twitter account, and the latter insisted the comments were legitimate, but there was no confirmation of that from the State Council Information Office itself. Those entertaining tweets have now gone from the account’s timeline, but fortunately they are preserved in this tweet by the Twitter account of GreatFire.org, an organization that monitors online censorship in China:

In case you can’t see that, GreatFire.org’s apt comment is simply: “go home State Council Information Office, you’re drunk.” LOL.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

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