Facebook Disables Woeser’s Accounts

UPDATE September 27, 2020, 2pm BST: Woeser has reported via her social media channels that her access to Facebook has been restored. Translation of her tweet below:

Translation: Just now, a manager at Facebook told me via the writer Pazu: “Woeser’s Facebook account and Page have been restored, we also sent her an email but you can tell her that if she violates the regulations again, they will not necessarily be restored again.” So, it has taken four days to get my Facebook accounts running again. My Messenger has also been recovered and my restrictions on Instagram have been lifted. Thank you all for your attention and concern. 

UPDATE September 26, 2020, 5pm BST: In addition to Facebook disabling her account, Woeser’s activity on her Instagram has also been limited.

Facebook Disables Woeser’s Accounts

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated three tweets by Woeser about Facebook disabling her accounts.

This is not the first time Woeser’s Facebook accounts have been disabled. In July this year, her Facebook accounts were temporarily disabled for several days.

In December 2014, Facebook deleted her post on the self-immolation protest of monk Kalsang Yeshi, prompting media attention on concerns around censorship. 

The first tweet Woeser wrote about this Facebook incident was written on September 24, 2020:

Translation: Last night, both my personal and official Facebook accounts were suddenly disabled. It was claimed that it had been “reported by a third party.” Since first registering an account in 2008, I have been posting countless photos, essays and videos about Tibet. Once before, Facebook deleted a post about self-immolations in Tibet, a matter that even gained media attention. Also, during this year’s birthday of His Holiness, Facebook temporarily disabled my accounts for several days. So what is it now? What is the actual reason for disabling my account this time? #Facebook

This next tweet was sent as a follow up:

Translation: I sincerely hope that @Facebook will provide an explicit and genuine reason for completely disabling both my personal and my official Facebook accounts and that they will not use “fake account” as a pretext to block free speech. I have been using Facebook for ten years. I am one of the extremely rare, perhaps even the only, voice from inside China that provides real information about Tibet. I have to muster my courage and am putting myself at risk only to be blocked by a company that claims to defend freedom of speech?! What irony!

The third tweet was the following:

Translation: I forgot to say that apart from my Facebook, I also cannot access Messenger. This means that I cannot get in touch with my paternal aunt in India (who is over 80 years old)… this makes me very sad.

High Peaks Pure Earth will continue to monitor this case and post updates.

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