TECH Facebook blocks HK media account


Facebook blocks HK media account

Global Times

02:52, September 16, 2019


(Photo: VCG)

Facebook faced outrage in China over the weekend for suspending a Hong Kong media account and Hong Kong police's anti-violence WhatsApp hotlines, as the Chinese public slammed it for falling victim to US bullying and double standards, and for becoming an "accomplice" of Hong Kong rioters. 

Many Chinese netizens also urged Hong Kong media dotdotnews to sue Facebook for blocking the account twice in a week, and offered to help with the lawsuit. 

Analysts said the Chinese government could include Facebook in its unreliable entity list to punish it for "supporting" Hong Kong rioters.

Facebook blocked's account on Wednesday, and blocked it again on Friday night for unknown reasons, Hong Kong media reported.

The news site sent a protest to Facebook and strongly denounced it for suppressing press freedom and supporting violence in a statement published on its newly launched Facebook page on Saturday night, saying it reserves the right to safeguard its rights. 

"The truth is the only goal of our report. We want to ask Facebook on behalf of the 7 million Hong Kong people, 'what do you want?' [Are you trying] to wipe out voices of justice to protect the rioters and their violence for the purpose of a color revolution? Facebook, what are your ties with those rioters?" the news site said in the statement.

Dotdotnews also asked Facebook for an explanation, to unblock the page, review its actions and amend its related clauses. 

Many netizens denounced Facebook for embracing double standards in upholding "freedom of speech" and "democracy." 

"I really appreciate Facebook's move, which helps us see clearly through their hypocrisy and double standards, under the guise of freedom and democracy," said a Facebook user named Oliver Zhang. 

Over the weekend, Facebook, owner of messaging app WhatsApp, also suspended 10 Hong Kong police anti-violence WhatsApp hotlines, saying the app was intended for private messaging only. 

Hong Kong police launched the hotlines on Tuesday, and was designed to receive clues and evidence of violence from the public, such as photos and video.

Facebook's latest move came after the platform and Twitter took down number of accounts from China in August in connection with the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. 

Facebook's actions have further enraged Chinese netizens, who called Facebook "Fakebook" and "Facebook with no face." 

Qin An, head of the Beijing-based Institute of China Cyberspace Strategy, told the Global Times that Facebook's repeated actions have completely torn down the disguise of Western social media which boasted of "freedom and democracy."

"It is pure hegemony in social media, which is supported by political forces," Qin said. 

The actions Facebook has taken are a typical practice which has been used for quite a long time, just like it did during the Arab Spring which tolerated activists to achieve their political ends, Wang Sixin, a media law professor at Communication University of China, told the Global Times.

Facebook has become a US political tool in exporting its values, and has become one of the foreign factors behind the Hong Kong violence and accomplice of Hong Kong mobs, Wang said.

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