Sat, Apr 09, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Chinese democracy activist suspicious of Facebook activity

Staff Writer

Exiled Chinese democracy activist Wang Dan (王丹) expressed suspicion about the temporary removal of his fan page from the Facebook social networking Web site on Wednesday afternoon, suggesting that it could have been intentional sabotage.

Wang, a student leader in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, said his Facebook fan page had been up and running for more than two years and that it had become an important communications channel between himself and netizens.

The page came back online later on Wednesday night.

According to a statement posted online, Wang said that following the abrupt removal of his Facebook fan page on Wednesday, he had received queries from several international media outlets such as the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Guardian expressing concern.

With friends’ help, Wang later said he was able to communicate directly with Facebook headquarters about the status of his missing Facebook page.

Wang’s statement quoted Facebook as saying that it did not allow an individual to have two personal accounts. Given that Wang had a personal Facebook account as well as a Facebook fan page, the company had closed down all of Wang’s accounts.

Unconvinced, Wang said in a post on his Facebook fan page and Twitter that he had been using two personal accounts on Facebook for more than two years, and asked why Facebook did not take action until now.

Facebook did not respond to that inquiry, Wang said.

While saying that he would not pursue the case further, Wang added that he had recently encountered phishing Web sites, allegations and other hacker-like disruption of his Facebook page.

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