Fiercely democratic Taiwan, which China claims as its own, has been angered by its inability to fully access the WHO, of which it is not a member due to China’s objections, during the COVID-19 pandemic.[Recently] it again failed to get into the World Health Assembly, the WHO’s decision-making body.
Taiwan’s government said posts in support of Taiwan on the WHO’s Facebook page were being censored by the WHO and blocked. Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said this ran contrary to the neutrality the WHO should be upholding.
The WHO defended the move.
“During the World Health Assembly, WHO faces an onslaught of cyberattacks by online activists on a number of controversial issues, using keywords such as ‘Taiwan’ and ‘China’,” it said.
That hindered its ability to moderate conversations for people who came to their pages to discuss health issues, it said, and when that happened “our social media team applies content filters”, the WHO added.
“This is a practical measure that does not reflect a value judgment or any policy of the World Health Organization. The aim is to enable our users to avoid being spammed through cyberattacks, including from bots, and to find a balanced way to keep information and conversation flowing.”
However, it added that it had now restored the ability of users to post the words “Taiwan” and “China”.