Twitter CEO slams China

Twitter boss slams Chinese government for jailing a citizen over a jokey tweet
Twitter boss slams Chinese government for jailing a citizen over a jokey tweet

China has incarcerated a Twitter dissident for making a jokey and satirical tweet, with Twitter CEO slamming the Chinese authorities for the move.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo sent a message on his Twitter page this week, criticising the Chinese government for detaining one of its citizens over the jokey tweet.

As we reported earlier a Chinese woman has been sentenced to a year in a labour camp for retweeting the satirical message.

"Dear Chinese Government," was the message sent late Thursday from Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.

"Year-long detentions for sending a sarcastic tweet are neither the way forward nor the future of your great people."

Whether or not tech CEOs should comment on such issues is, of course, cause for debate.

Tech, politics and freedom of speech

The Chinese woman in question had retweeted a message from her fiance mocking Chinese people for smashing up Japanese products.

For its part, China has blocked access to Twitter and other social networks. And anybody that figures out a way of working around these firewalls seems to be immediately pegged as a 'dissident'.

Google has also had a number of highly-publicised issues in China over the last year.

Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, ever the diplomat, posted on Facebook Questions recently: "What are the best Mandarin-speaking cities to visit in China?"

Perhaps the Facebook CEO merely sees a lucrative emerging market, where Google and Twitter have mistakenly positioned themselves as 'voices of the free world' ?

Adam Hartley