Persona non grata

Michael Anti (Zhao Jing) is a well-known Chinese writer with a large Twitter following, a Neiman Fellowship under his belt and his own Wikipedia entry. But he can’t have a Facebook account with his best-known moniker.

Anti’s account on the social networking site was shut down a month ago, with administrators telling him he couldn’t remain signed up with his well-known pseudonym. This to the man who went by Michael Anti when studying at Harvard and who has been quoted widely in international media by that same name. Skeptics wonder if his unplugging might have more to do with Anti’s critical political views than his moniker, given that pen names are hardly uncommon on social networking sites.

In a letter to Facebook Tuesday, Anti demanded answers, including why non-humans appear to rank higher than critics of the Chinese regime. Along with the account, he’s lost connections to 1,100 important contacts.

“I will ask my readers in this week, 'Why I am more fake than (Facebook founder Mark) Zuckerberg's dog?'” he said.