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Hong Kong: Three activists harassed by Facebook

Last week, three Hong Kong activists’ accounts were suspended by Facebook. They were administrators of a group that advocates against the development of luxurious housing in a wetland by Henderson Land Development Company Ltd.

According to the report by Apple Daily News, Ho Lok, a Chinese University Philosophy undergraduate opened a group, Against the Development of Luxurious Housing in Nan San Wai, in Facebook last week. Within a few hours, more than 360 people have joined in the group. But on the same night, his personal account in Facebook was suspended. “The notice said that my name is fake. Do we have to use real name to register? I registered the account one year ago and got its approval, why it suddenly decided to suspend my account? When I search in Facebook, there are still many Ho Lok online!”

The immediate effect is that Ho Lok cannot administer the group. He has resubmitted all his personal particulars to Facebook, hoping that it would reopen his account.

Two other administers of the group Kim Ching and Joanne also had their account suspended temporary. Kim Ching received a warning that he has abused the “Add Friend” function and had his account suspended for 4 hours. Joanne's account was suddenly logout by Facebook when she was trying to send out a message via the group. They suspect that harassment is the result of complaint made by property developer, but Hinderson Land Development Company claimed that they had never heard anything about the group.

Charles Mok, the Chairman of Hong Kong Internet Society pointed out that Facebook has been very arbitrary in their management of users’ account. And because it only has one Asia Office, which is located in India, it is very difficult for the local users to monitor their service.

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