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VOA: Facebook Apologized to a Hong Kong Facebook User

On June 1, VOA carried an article reporting that Facebook recently apologized to a customer who submitted a request to post his own camera effects platform, which was associated with the June 4th student movement in Tiananmen. According to the article, the designer was from Hong Kong and works for the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union. On May 26, 24 hours after its submission, Facebook rejected the initial camera effects platform design that contained words “End Dictatorial Rule; Vindicate June 4th.” The reason Facebook gave was that it “undermined, threatened, or attacked a certain individual, race, or group.” The author then changed the design to “Never Forget June 4th” and added a candle but still didn’t get approval. Finally the author published the incident on his Facebook page. He then quickly received a response from the Hong Kong media. On May 29, Facebook replied back to the request and approved the first design. On May 30, it followed with the approval of the second design.

Facebook estimates that there are 4.4 million Facebook users in Hong Kong. They account for 50 percent of the population, but Facebook has been banned on the mainland since 2009. Recently Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook expressed an interest in re-entering the China market. The article stated that people who care about Chinese affairs wish that the reported incident was simply an isolated case. They do not want to see Facebook losing its ground and exercising control over those contents that contain criticism of the Chinese government simply in order to please Beijing.

Source: Voice of America, June 1, 2017