Facebook banned accounts of Hong Kong social activists days before Tiananmen Massacre Memorial

According to Taiwan Apple Daily,

This year Tiananmen Massacre memorial is approaching. Hong Kong social activist Kay To said on Facebook that many people who are related to Hong Kong social movements were suddenly banned today. “I request Facebook to explain the reason why Hong Kong social activists were suddenly banned. Please stop unreasonable ban, revive accounts of people involved and give apologies.”

Kay To gave the list of banned accounts and some of names are: Leung Kwok-hung (member of Hong Kong Legislative Council), Chan Siu Ming, Willis Ho (member of Hong Kong Federation of Student), Benson Tsang (photographer of politics issue), Cuson Lo (political comics artist), 郭家 (a netizen who always  photoshop politicans), 人民力量李偉儀, 楊紻, Shirley Tang, 黃暴龍, Tony Choi, Jacqueline Chan, Kylie C. Thapthong, Toby Li.

Interview of Political Comics Artist Cuson Lo by RTHK

Currently, netizens have 2 different views on this incident. Some netizens think that this is the Weibo-lisation of Facebook (*Weibo is Mainland Chinese Twitter). The ban of Hong Kong social activists’ accounts is a “white terror”. “I call today ‘July 1st Facebook ban incident’,”said a netizen

Other netizens think that this is an “organised” action. “Some people exploit the report mechanism of Facebook to kill the voice of dissidents,” also “the cost of it is very low. Only a hundred people are needed to complain the targeted individuals. This netizen also said, “Today, ten of us were deactivated. Tomorrow, there will be another group deactivated. Basically, within ten days, voice of dissidents can be all wiped out. An invisible net has already been spread. We should not neglect it. ”

Some social activists use “river crab“, the symbol of “harmonisation” (*euphemism for censorship), to create a Facebook group “No unreasonable ban. Give my Facebook back“.

“Facebook Crab”

They all got back their accounts after netizens’ complaints

Charles Mok: Yesterday, in Ukraine, 10 independent journalists’ accounts were also deactivated. The accounts were also activated after complaints. Even though I don’t know if other places were affected, it seems that this is not a separate incident. The global internet freedom is under threat. We should look at the world as well!

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