"WeChat and the Surveillance State," 1984 in China

BBC reporter discusses his experience when he posts pictures of the protests commemorating Tiananmen Square in Hong Kong on WeChat.
I was in Hong Kong to cover the enormous candlelight vigil marking 30 years since the People's Liberation Army was ordered to open fire on its own people to remove the mostly student protesters who'd been gathering in and around Tiananmen Square for months in June 1989.  
This moment in history has been all but erased from public discourse on mainland China but in Hong Kong, with its special status in the Chinese-speaking world, people turn out every year to remember the bloody crackdown.
This time round the crowd was particularly huge, with estimates ranging up to 180,000. . . .
After he posted the pictures on WeChat and started answering questions from Chinese who had never heard of Tiananmen Square, he was blocked from using WeChat.
It seems posting photos of an actual event taking place, without commentary, amounts to "spreading malicious rumours" in China. 
I was given time to try and log in again the next day after my penalty had been served.
When I did I had to push "agree and unblock" under the stated reason of "spread malicious rumours". 
So this rumour-monger clicked on "agree". 
Then came a stage I was not prepared for. "Faceprint is required for security purposes," it said. 
I was instructed to hold my phone up - to "face front camera straight on" - looking directly at the image of a human head. Then told to "Read numbers aloud in Mandarin Chinese". . . .

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