A leading feminist organization in China, Feminist Voices, had its main social media account suspended for a month this week — an apparent response to the group having shared an article about “A Day Without a Woman,” a women’s strike planned for International Women’s Day on March 8 in the U.S.
Feminist Voices, which had operated on Chinese social media site Weibo since 2010, said that it was given notice of the shutdown late on Monday from the site’s host, Sina.com — purportedly because the group had posted content that “violates national laws and regulations.” A message from the group said that its post about “A Day Without a Woman” was likely to blame, since it was the only one recent post to have been censored.
— Ms. W ???? (@strefry) February 20, 2017
At least one message posted on the group’s Weixin, or WeChat, social media account expressed bewilderment at the decision.
“What???” wrote one user. “What’s incomprehensible is a post reporting on a women’s event overseas could be breaking Chinese laws and regulations???”
While no women’s strike was being called for in China, the government has historically repressed any mass activities outside of state control. On the eve of International Women’s Day in 2015, five Chinese feminists were detained for allegedly planning to distribute leaflets about sexual harassment on public transportation. The women were eventually released after several weeks in detention, but remained subject to bail conditions for more than a year afterwards.
Unverified claims circulating on social media quoted an unidentified Sina.com employee as saying that the suspension of Feminist Voices’ account came from the Cyberspace Administration of the State Internet Information Office whose duty, according to state media, is to “direct, coordinate, and supervise online content management.” Until the suspension is lifted, Feminist Voices has said that it would make its normal postings through another Weibo account, “Fairness for Women.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.