Chinese Feminist Group’s Social Media Account Suspended/中国女权组织“女权之声”微博账号被禁言
By: Didi Kirsten Tatlow Source: New York Times Date: 22/2/17
女权主义者周三表示，女权之声社交媒体账号遭禁声，可能与它发布的一篇有关美国计划在3月8日国际妇女节举行一场女性罢工活动的文章有关。这场活动名为“没有女性的一天”(A Day Without a Woman)，正在由上月华盛顿女性大游行活动的组织者进行协调
BEIJING — The main social media account of a leading feminist organization in China has been taken down for 30 days, and Chinese feminists are bracing for another wave of repression before major political meetings this year.
The closing of the account for the organization, Feminist Voices, may have been linked to an article it posted about a women’s strike planned in the United States on March 8, International Women’s Day, feminists said on Wednesday. The strike, which is being coordinated by the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington last month, is called “A Day Without a Woman.”
Feminist Voices (Nuquan Zhisheng, or 女权之声) was founded in 2009 and has operated on Weibo, a Twitter-like platform in China’s, since 2010. It said it had received notice that it was being shut down late Monday from its host, the media giant Sina.com.
“Hello, because content you recently posted violates national laws and regulations, your account will be banned for 30 days,” the notice said, according to a message Feminist Voice circulated on another social media account.
Reached by telephone, the head of Sina.com’s public relations department, Chen Jinguo, said he did not know the details of the case.
Chinese feminists reacted with anger and dismay to the news.
“This is about attacking civil society,” Lu Pin, a founder of Feminist Voices who lives in New York, said in a telephone interview. “They want to take away our voice.”
“It’s just the beginning,” Ms. Lu predicted, in a politically tense year in China.
“What?” said a message posted on the group’s WeChat social media account. “What’s incomprehensible is a post reporting on a women’s event overseas could be breaking Chinese laws and regulations.”
The message said the group suspected that the post about the planned strike in the United States was behind the shutdown because that was the only one of its Weibo posts to be censored recently.
The message was later deleted, but the Weixin account was still online Wednesday afternoon.
No women’s strike has been called for March 8 in China, but the word “strike” is politically delicate in the country. The government discourages, and sometimes harshly represses, any mass activities outside state control, including at the government-run All-China Federation of Trade Unions and the All-China Women’s Federation.
The move may also reflect a tightening of security two weeks before China’s annual parliamentary meetings, which begin March 5, during which the government traditionally cracks down on the already limited political debate in the country’s censored media. Also, the Communist Party will hold its 19th Central Committee meeting this year, where major leadership decisions are expected.
According to a message circulating on social media that quoted an unidentified person working at Sina.com, women’s rights advocates said the account’s suspension had come from the Cyberspace Administration of the State Internet Information Office, which can “direct, coordinate and supervise online content management,” according to the state news media.
For now, Feminist Voices’ Weibo communications have been transferred to another Weibo account, Fairness for Women.
The action against Feminist Voices shortly before International Women’s Day mirrors events in 2015, when five Chinese feminists were detained on the eve of March 8 for planning to distribute leaflets warning of sexual harassment on public transit.