Screengrab from Twitter (left) and Wikipedia (right)


The World Health Assembly (WHA) unfolds online this year between Nov. 9 and Nov. 14, but Taiwan has found itself on the other side of the door again despite its relative success in its fight against COVID-19. 


The snub became even more apparent following Wednesday’s virtual meeting when Taiwanese and members of the foreign community discovered that the word, “Taiwan,” was censored and prohibited from being posted in the comment section.

其中一名外國記者William Yang便憤怒地在週四上午於推特上表示:「許多人,包括我在內,發現世界衛生組織的臉書似乎禁止所有有提到『台灣』等字的留言。這是怎麼一回事?言論審查?」

Freelance journalist William Yang, tweeted early Thursday morning, “Multiple sources, including myself, found that @WHO’s official Facebook account seems to have blocked any comment containing the word “#Taiwan” to go through. What is this deal? Censorship?”

Screengrab from Twitter


Social media users immediately tried their own hand and were furious when a red text box and the words, “unable to post a comment” appeared below the word “Taiwan.”

Screengrab from Twitter

世衛對「台灣」的禁言馬上遭瘋傳,也釣出台灣駐美代表蕭美琴的回應。她於William Yang的推文下寫道:「如果這是真的,世界衛生組織與臉書聯合起來幫中國利用髒手段嚴禁台灣成功案例被分享,那真的是件令人憤怒。」

WHO’s censorship against Taiwan immediately spread online, which elicited an angry comment from Taiwan’s representative in the U.S., Hsiao Bi-Khim, who replied: “If that is true, it would be an outrage to see the WHO and Facebook teaming up to do China’s dirty work of censoring the success story in the fight against COVID-19.”

Screengrab from Twitter


Her comment led many social media users to create memes mocking and hinting at Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and WHO’s seemingly compliance and partiality for China’s political agenda against Taiwan.

One Twitter user jokingly warned others to prepare for more censorship from Facebook. (Photo courtesy of @shirohamusan/Twitter)
Another Twitter user implied that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is in the Chinese leader’s pocket. (Photo courtesy of @su_ge01142893/Twitter)


Refusing to be silenced, Taiwanese and foreign social media users have now found ways to dodge the filters, including omitting space between words (i.e. Taiwancanhelp) and using symbols to separate the letters (i.e. T/A/I/W/A/N). 


This incident comes following a meeting on Tuesday when WHO moderators repeatedly cut off allies from the U.S., Eswatini and Palau who praised Taiwan’s virus-prevention efforts and called for the nation’s inclusion into the WHO. 

READ  Trump administration pushes to sell Alaska oil leases pre-Biden inauguration



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here