Sina Weibo

Taiwan ex-premier Frank Hsieh's microblog blocked after comment

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 February, 2013, 4:00am

Less than a day after former Taiwanese premier Frank Hsieh Chang-ting verified his account on Sina Weibo, access to it was inexplicably blocked.

Hsieh started his microblog on February 9 and upgraded to an authenticated account on Tuesday.

One of his posts on Tuesday said "freedom of expression is judged not by whether one is free to criticise government officials in power, but by whether one loses freedom following the criticism".

Attempts to access his microblog yesterday, however, were met with a message saying it was "not available at the moment". Prior to its inaccessibility, Hsieh's microblog had drawn about 60,000 followers since February 9. He identified himself as chairman of the Taiwan Reform Foundation and as the former president of the Democratic Progressive Party.

Sina Weibo did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

Lin He-ming, an assistant in Hsieh's office, said that internet service providers in Taiwan were looking into the matter but found no technical explanation for the disruption of access.

Taiwan-based online news network ETtoday yesterday quoted Hsieh as saying that "it's fine [that the microblog has] disappeared … I will open a new [account]."