Campaign to free the Japanese fairy baby otter mascot from Twitter jail gathers momentum.

Just yesterday, the world was rocked by news that Twitter had suspended all of Japanese mascot Chiitan’s accounts except its English one on the social media platformToday, however, Chiitan’s team awoke to find that the English account had now been suspended as well, completely wiping any trace of the cute fairy baby otter from Twitter. 

A spokesperson for the mascot says they’re puzzled by the sudden suspension, as it came without any prior warning, and affects not only their verified English account, but their Japanese, Korean, Brazilian, Arabic, and Turkish accounts as well. And they’re not the only casualties, as @macegem, the verified account for Kame-chan, the turtle on Chiitan’s hat, has also been suspended.

Now that Chiitan and its pink hat are firmly locked behind bars in Twitter jail, the otter’s team is fighting back against the suspension, creating a new account called “Bring Chiitan Back!”, which appeared online this morning.

With all the savvy of experienced Twitter users, Chiitan’s reps have been appealing for help from fans with a flurry of tweets on the social media platform all day, including this one, which says: “Don’t let Chiitan be erased like HBO erased the coffee cup!!”

And it looks like Chiitan has been gathering support from a large number of loyal fans, including pro skater Tony Hawk, who responded to their S.O.S. with “Doing everything I can, pretending I’m a Superman”.

The annihilation of Chiitan on Twitter comes less than a month after American talk show host John Oliver dedicated an entire segment to the self-described “0-year-old fairy baby” otter from Susaki City in Kochi Prefecture.

While the two got into some beef after Oliver sent over his own mascot, Chiijohn, to steal Chiitan’s former best friend and official Susaki mascot, Shinjo-kun, Chiitan is now appealing to the talk show host for help as well.

It’s true that Chiitan struck up some playful Twitter banter with Oliver after their public beef, calling him a “British Birb” and challenging him to “explode through a table” like a wrestler at a WWE wrestling match.

▼ After all, the British Birb did steal Chiitan’s best friend…

It’s also true that Chiitan lost its unofficial “Tourism Ambassador” status to Susaki following complaints from residents over the mascot’s unruly behaviour, which included videos of the otter running into walls and hitting balls into other mascots’ faces.

However, while Chiitan’s team acknowledge that the mascot is known for its “somewhat dangerous antics”, they insist that they’ve never tweeted anything that would be discriminatory or threatening, which might violate the terms of Twitter.

So if it’s not the beef with John Oliver that caused the sudden suspension, what could be the real reason behind it? One theory could be the fact that Susaki City, who owns the rights to the city’s official mascot Shinjo-kun, have publicly requested that Chiitan cease and desist all activities, as they believe the character’s design is too similar to theirs, and therefore a copyright violation.

However, Chiitan’s team believe they were told that no permission was necessary to create their character, and have been in talks with them for some period of time to come to an amicable solution. It’s a complicated issue, and one that’s become even more convoluted now that Chiitan sits behind bars in the Twitter universe.

Source: Chiitan Team Email
Featured image: Twitter/@ogecebel
Insert image: Chiitan

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