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Facebook Apologizes For Banning Tribute To Tiananmen Massacre


By Eric Lieberman

Facebook recently apologized for “mistakenly” censoring content that paid tribute to the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, according to a Tuesday report from the Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP).

The social media platform offers users a picture frame to accompany their profile photos, often in support of a particular cause. Fung Ka-keung, the chief executive of Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (HKFP), submitted a customized frame commemorating the violent protests to Facebook on Friday for review.

Roughly 24 hours later, Fung said that the company rejected the design because it doesn’t meet official policies.

Facebook originally claimed that the virtual frame “belittles, threatens, or attacks a particular person, legal entity, nationality or group,” according to the HKFP. The social media company reversed its decision soon after, perhaps because the initial notification was an automated response.

“The frame was disapproved incorrectly. We apologize for this mistake and have let the user know we approved his submission,” a Facebook representative told The Daily Caller News Foundation (TheDCNF).

Fung wants further explanation for why the artwork was initially denied, citing his contention that he submitted a separate but similar frame a day later that was still pending early Tuesday.

Facebook is currently banned in mainland China, but allegedly not in areas like Taiwan and Hong Kong. The tech conglomerate has been trying to curry favor with the country to allow the platform, causing people to “suspect the decision might be political.” The Chinese government is very sensitive about any mentions or references of the large-scale demonstrations that reportedly ended up with hundreds of dead citizens, leading Fung to believe Facebook may have been kowtowing to China.

After the artistic feature was ultimately approved, Fung said that more than 1,000 people had updated their Facebook profile pictures with the now-approved frame. The frame can be seen on Fung’s own profile.

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