In the escalating social media battle between Australia and China, an attempt from Scomo to reach out to the users of WeChat has been hamstrung.
On Wednesday night, users noticed that a post from Australian prime minister Scott Morrison’s account on the Chinese social media platform WeChat had been removed.
— ABC中文 (@ABCChinese) December 2, 2020
People attempting to view the post were shown the text “Unable to view this content because it violates regulations.”
According to the ABC, the post said Morrison’s WeChat post “involving the use of words, pictures, videos” that would “incite, mislead, and violate objective facts, fabricating social hot topics, distorting historical events, and confusing the public”.
Morrison’s account had posted earlier in the week following a tweet from China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian about Australia’s alleged war crimes which included violent image from a pro-China artist.
The Prime Minister’s post sought to outline how Australia was responding to the Brereton report.
“Australia’s ability to deal with issues in a transparent and honest way is a strength of this country, and one that recognises all those who serve it,” the post read.
“This post containing false images of Australian soldiers does not diminish the respect and appreciation for the Chinese community in Australia, nor does it diminish our friendship with the Chinese people. Our Chinese Australian community will continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring that our country remains a successful multicultural nation!”
As a major social network used by Chinese residents, WeChat is subject to the strict censorship overseen by the Chinese Communist Party.
While it’s unknown whether Morrison’s post was removed at the behest of government officials or in response to reporting from users, the decision starkly displays the difference between Chinese-owned and other social networks.
While Trump continues to post unhinged falsities about the US election with only a label, WeChat is all too happy to remove the words of another country’s Prime Minister.