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Man Kills Himself Over Blocked WeChat Account
Published on: 2020-08-31
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wechat 01WeChat has made headlines in China this week over the death of a man in the southern city of Shenzhen. The 22-year-old killed himself after the ubiquitous messaging and mobile-payment app temporarily blocked his account.

The man died Aug. 15, according to an announcement Thursday from Tencent, WeChat’s large and powerful parent company. The tech giant said it had blocked the deceased’s WeChat account for three days after another user reported him for harassing her and sending pornographic content.

The deceased’s brother, surnamed Tang, said on Friday that he had found a video on his brother’s phone in which he ranted for several minutes about being upset by the punitive action taken against his account.

“He explained that Tencent had blocked his WeChat and he had failed to get in touch with Tencent’s customer service,” Tang said. “Because my brother runs a shop, losing access to the WeChat account had a huge impact on his business.”

Tang added that his brother had messaged the Shenzhen police before killing himself to inform them of his decision: He provided his name and national ID number, and requested that they not tell his grandparents of his fate.

Tang said his family received 150,000 yuan in cash from the local subdistrict office during an arbitration meeting, though he doesn’t know whether the money came from Tencent.

According to WeChat’s user agreement, all accounts on the platform belong to Tencent. It also says that if Tencent finds or receives evidence that a user is in violation of the terms of service, WeChat “is entitled to remove or obscure relevant content at any time and without notice.” Violations include “endangering national security,” “spreading rumors,” and “disseminating obscenity,” among others.

The Shenzhen man’s death has sparked heated online discussion about who should own the rights to personal social media accounts. In China, a country with over 1 billion active WeChat users, the platform is all but essential in daily life, from communicating with colleagues and ordering takeout to calling cabs and booking hospital appointments.

一男子因微信被封号跳楼自杀

8月15日,一男子因微信被封号影响做生意,多次申诉无果后从腾讯用户接待中心坠亡,引发关注。经公安机关调查确认,坠楼者属于自杀。

27日,腾讯针对此事两次回应称,坠楼者账号系被举报色情骚扰后被封,存在违法违规行为,腾讯公司员工未与坠楼者有过交流接触,且事发大厦仅有一楼为腾讯用户接待中心租用,网络上关于“从腾讯公司坠亡”的说法不属实。

回应中还提到,封号为72小时短期封号,8月15日到期后用户即可自助解封,该信息在登录页面已对用户有明确提示告知。

随后,坠亡男子哥哥接受澎湃新闻采访称:“我弟弟知不知道封号时间这回事,我不清楚,但是我弟肯定不知道封号理由,他只知道是违规,但是到底违什么规,什么原因不知道。(腾讯)和我们说的是他们有人工客服,不光咱们没找到,我相信很多网友也(没找到)”。

他表示,找腾讯的人工客服确实很难,就是腾讯人工客服不作为。“哪怕是有个人工客服给他回一句,说人家聊天举报你骚扰她了,才封你的号。你这样给他回一句,他也不会去找你了是不是,确实没人给他回复啊。”

8月12日,唐某辉的微信号被封,导致生意受到影响。唐某辉哥哥唐仁称,他曾向家人透露,微信账号被封让他不开心。此后,唐某辉“一直在申诉,想找腾讯要个说法。他一直在找人工服务,但一直是机器自动回复,搞得他特别的烦躁。”

随后在8月15日,唐某辉前往腾讯总部为封号一事讨要说法,总部保安接待了唐某辉,有工作人员给了他腾讯用户接待中心的名片,随后唐某辉来到了腾讯用户接待中心所在的嘉达大楼,最终悲剧发生,唐某辉从11楼坠下身亡。

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