Facebook is facing ire of Chinese media, suggesting that it has suspended a Chinese state media outlet’s page as well as the Hong Kong police’s reporting hotlines on WhatsApp. According to the Chinese state media, Facebook is guilty of “suppressing voices of justice”
The accusations against Facebook were published Monday on the overseas edition of the People’s Daily, a known Communist Party-controlled newspaper. According to the commentary, Facebook is jumping to the front of the state and mobilizing violence in the Hong Kong protests.
“Facebook has not hesitated to tear off its fake mask of ‘fairness and balance’, allowing rioters in Hong Kong special privileges to disseminate fake news,” the comment said, citing information from pro-Beijing newspaper Wen Wei Po. “In the name of combating fake news, it has openly discriminated against speech that does not fulfil the Western anti-China ideology until their voices are silenced.”
Last week, Facebook suspended the Dot Dot News Facebook page. This move was criticized by the page owner who described it as “political oppression.”
“A media outlet that dares to speak out has faced this type of treatment, a shame to civil society!” read a post on a newly created Dot Dot News page on Saturday. “Dot Dot News will also ask Facebook on behalf of the 7 million people in Hong Kong, what do you want? Is it the destruction of the voice of justice to help the Hong Kong rioters in their violent activities, to push forth their ‘colour revolution’?”
The Chinese state media is also lashing out at Facebook after it’s a social messaging app, WhatsApp suspended the Hong Kong police’s hotlines that collect information about protest-related violence. According to WhatsApp, the hotlines violated WhatsApp policies since it was designed for private messaging only.
With all the insults hurled at Facebook, the Chinese state media is calling for the inclusion of Facebook to the “unreliable entity list” as a punishment for supporting Hong Kong rioters. The unreliable list was announced at the end of May and aims to blacklist foreign entities that violated market rules or hurt Chinese business rights or interests. It also includes China’s “national security and interests”.
Meanwhile, a Facebook spokeswoman said on Monday:
“Our community standards are designed to ensure that our community can have these discussions in a safe environment, while still having the space to express different points of view.”
It’s worth noting that while Mainland China is demanding fairness from Facebook, Facebook has been banned in Mainland China since 2009.