China blogger angered over losing Facebook account

Mar 08, 2011 By TINI TRAN , Associated Press

(AP) -- Chinese blogger and activist Michael Anti wants to know why he is less worthy of a Facebook account than company founder Mark Zuckerberg's dog.

Anti, a popular online commentator whose legal name is Zhao Jing, said in an interview Tuesday that his Facebook account was suddenly canceled in January. Company officials told him by e-mail that Facebook has a strict policy against pseudonyms and that he must use the name issued on his government ID.

Anti argues that his professional identity as Michael Anti has been established for more than a decade, with published articles and essays.

Anti, a former journalist who has won fellowships at both Cambridge University and Harvard University, said he set up his Facebook account in 2007. By locking him out of his account, Facebook has cut him off from a network of more than 1,000 academic and professional contacts who know him as Anti, he said.

"I'm really, really angry. I can't function using my Chinese name. Today, I found out that Zuckerberg's dog has a Facebook account. My journalistic work and academic work is more real than a dog," he said.

Facebook officials weren't available to comment on his case. The company says its policy leads to greater trust and accountability for its users.

"We have tried to keep the rule simple and fair by saying personal profiles must always be set up in the real legal name of the individual concerned," it said by e-mail to Anti.

Dissidents in a variety of countries have argued that Facebook's policy can endanger and others if their identities become known.

Anti said there is a long tradition in for writers and journalists to take pen names, partly as protection from retaliation from authorities. If Facebook requires the use of real names, that could potentially put Chinese citizens in danger, he said.

"For my fellow Chinese, this policy could easily help Chinese police identify them," he said.

It's not the first time Anti has had problems with an Internet site. In 2005, his blog on a Microsoft site was shut down by the company following pressure from Chinese officials. Microsoft's action led to a public outcry.

Zuckerberg recently set up a page for his newly acquired puppy, "Beast," complete with photos and a profile.

Explore further: Premier US album chart revamped to include streaming

More information: http://www.facebook.com/beast.the.dog

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Facebook says it passed key financial milestone

Sep 15, 2009

(AP) -- Facebook Inc. said Tuesday it achieved an important financial milestone, bringing in more money than it spent in the last quarter. The social networking site previously had said it didn't expect to ...

Facebook CEO meets with Sina during China holiday

Dec 22, 2010

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg -- on holiday in China where his social networking site is officially blocked -- met Wednesday with top executives from the country's popular web portal Sina.com.

Recommended for you

YouTube goes online for second Music Awards

Nov 20, 2014

The YouTube Music Awards are undergoing an overhaul for their second edition next year, scrapping a star-studded gala and instead looking at videos' online buzz.

China Premier calls for greater role in shaping Web

Nov 20, 2014

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Thursday demanded a greater role for Beijing in shaping the global Internet, calling for "order" online as he failed to address his government's censorship of content it deems politically ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

TheQuietMan
not rated yet Mar 08, 2011
Sound about right. Facebook is not my favorite media, not even close.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.