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Home The News News Ire after anti-Ma page vanishes

Ire after anti-Ma page vanishes

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Netizens yesterday erupted in anger after a Facebook page created by an online alliance against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was allegedly removed, triggering a wave of conspiracy theories.

The page had accumulated more than 360,000 fans since its establishment in early 2012 and was filled with news reports critical of Ma and his administration’s policies.

However, the page suddenly became inaccessible in the early hours of yesterday, leading to heated discussions on the Professional Technology Temple (PTT) — the nation’s largest online academic bulletin board.

A netizen who goes by the alias “bohun” linked the page’s alleged removal to the inking of the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement in June last year.

“Now that the accord has been signed, it is not surprising that Chinese-funded companies have direct access to censor Internet content for our government,” bohun wrote.

Another netizen, identified as “walhalla,” pointed fingers at the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), of which Ma is chairman.

“With [the seven-in-one] elections around the corner, it appears that the KMT’s [censorship] machine has come into operation once again. Do not tell me you are so naive you think the party is ‘herbivorous,’” walhalla wrote.

The apparent deletion of the page came weeks after Ma vowed on April 16 to reform the KMT’s organization, publicity and new media divisions, in an effort to help the party get in sync with online public opinion and get a better grasp of the concerns of today’s youth.

Ma made the pledge on the heels of the student-led Sunflower movement’s three-week-long occupation of the Legislative Yuan, which was a protest against the government’s handling of the service trade pact.

As a gesture of support for the vanished page, an anonymous netizen created a new Facebook page under the banner of the online alliance yesterday afternoon.

“The alliance must not die. If one lunch box is not enough to fill our stomach, we can always buy another one. If one fan page is shut down, we can always create another one,” the new page’s description read.

As of press time yesterday, the new page had attracted about 13,000 fans.

Source: Taipei Times - 2014/05/29

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