Here’s the latest on our action regarding the International Standards Organization, they’re the guys with responsibility for among all other standardization, awarding and approving country codes. Which are used by the Unicode Consortium to classify and enable country flag emojis, and enjoyed across social media by folks around the digital planet.
Our letter to the Secretary General (Sergio Mujica) was ignored so we went public with our appeal and featured couple days back a post here on the issue. Within a few hours our team over on Twitter received a communication from ISO.
We took a closer look at that code (ISO 3166) and the organization states:
“As a general rule, the ISO 3166 maintenance agency does not assign official country code elements to other geopolitical areas or countries that are not member states of the UN”
Which raises the obvious question.Why has the ISO granted distinct country codes (that enable and authorize emoji country flags) to Western Sahara and Palestine, both of which are not recognized as member states of the United Nations, yet not to occupied Tibet?
We’ll continue to expose this clear double-standard and demand a response from the ISO, meanwhile if you would like to join that effort the Secretray General may be easily contacted on Twitter at @ISOSecGen
Sergio Mujica, Secretary-General of the ISO
Subscribers and visitors to our site may recall that recently we launched an online campaign to lobby the International Standards Organization, since it is the authorizing body that classifies and approves emoji country flags. Presently it doesn’t endorse Tibet as a distinct territory, but classifies it as part of China. This means there exists no emoji of the Tibetan flag that can be used within social media platforms. As there are for Palestine and Western Sahara.
Partner organizations within the Unicode Consortium (such as Facebook, Apple, et al) follow the lead of the ISO and have subsequently not requested or initiated a Tibetan flag emoji. We regarded this a grossly unfair and a form of censorship and have lobbied those corporations with voting rights and pressed the case for Tibet. In addition on September 17, 2018 we sent an appeal to Mr Sergio Mujica ISO Secretary-General highlighting the inconsistencies of his organization with regard to classifying emoji country flags and requesting that a review be made with respect to Tibet and its flag.
No response has been received, and despite further communications to the ISO requesting the courtesy of a response to our appeal, Mr Mujica has chosen to ignore the concerns presented to him. Given the weeks which have passed since contacting his office and the lack of response from the ISO Twitter account we have decided to make public our appeal.
ISO Headquarters in Geneva
We do so to better inform our many supporters and friends worldwide and to highlight what is clearly double-standards operated by the ISO and Unicocde Consortium which happily approved emoji flags for Palestine and Western Sahara yet is appeasing the Chinese regime by effectively censoring an Tibetan flag emoji.
The full copy of our appeal to the ISO Secretary General may be read here https://www.docdroid.net/jZAVRMh/isoletter.pdf For ease of reference we have highlighted key sections of the communication.
We shall continue to press the ISO for a response and meanwhile report upon and expose those within the Unicode Consortium who are blocking users of social media the freedom to post an emoji of the Tinetan national flag.
Useful communication, or annoying fad? Could be that emojis aren’t your thing, but they are an important and increasing method of communication across social media, especially Twitter.
There’s emojis for many flags of the world and yet this is the #emoji –> 🏴 which the Unicode Consortium (the authority which approves and cauthorizes emoji) has decided for the Tibetan flag!
We regard this as censorship, which no doubt greatly pleases the Chinese regime. Which is why today we appealed to the Unicode Consortium to approve and create an emoji of Tibet’s flag.
Our statement can be read: HERE
If you would like to see the Tibetan flag as an emoji which can then be easily included on posts acoss social media then contact Unicode Consortium via Twitter @unicode or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: courtesy of @AnonymousTibet
Something very strange is happening to a Twitter account run by @AnonymousTibet, (AT) the cause of which is uncertain, but before we continue here’s what we’ve learned from our colleagues @tibettruth. Seems that last month the anonymous account posted a video about activism targeting Chinese regime websites. They also tweeted to a few followers with an interest in Tibet an update on Tibetan Independence Day, which falls on February 13.
On that same day they were locked out of their account and despite several appeals and direct explanations it took a week to regain access. They received emails from Twitter Support apologizing for the inconvenience and acknowledging that their algorithms had wrongly interpreted AT as being a spam-bot.
Yay! Case closed and thanks to a whole lot of support from people across Twitter their account was again up and running. But wait a minute, when they logged in something was missing, only their 2000 plus followers! What’s more anyone trying to follow AT were being blocked from doing so! Meanwhile their emails and tweets to @TwitterSupport to help fully restore their account are being ignored, and at the time of this post the situation remains unresolved.
What is going down here? Is this administrative oversight by Twitter, or something darker? Are we seeing once again censorship? Has China exerted its suffocating influence once again? Whatever the facts it’s very worrying to see an account dedicated to human rights, justice and freedom being effectively banned. The only party which would welcome such a censorship is that of China’s regime!
We trust that Twitter will do the right thing here and lift the restrictions imposed upon @AnonymousTibet and restore their followers, anything else places into question their commitment to freedom-of-speech.
We wish to applaud the University of Groningen for its January 29 announcement to cancel plans to open up a campus in China Although their statement is unclear on reason for this decision, the issue of Chinese government control and manipulation within academic institutions is a matter of increasing concern. Such a factor may well have been the trigger to reverse their intended collaboration.
In November 2017 the Chinese regime declared that “all foreign-funded universities should have a Communist Party official sit on the board. The president of the University of Groningen’s board, Sibrand Poppema, said then that the inclusion of a party official on UGY’s board “does nothing to alter” academic freedom and independence and that the Party representative would have no ability to control academic content. Nonetheless, Poppema said that the university must “continue to ensure that self-censorship does not become an issue.” (Source)
It is greatly encouraging to note the decision of this University and all respect to them for taking a stand against the corrosive influence of China’s regime.
So get this…Marriot hotels is reportedly firing one of its employees for…..liking a tweet posted in support of Tibet by a (cough) group promoting Tibetan independence. REPORT HERE
Let’s all let that sink in shall we? In that story we can see with brilliant clarity the current relationship between corporations and China, ever desperate to appease and placate the Chinese regime in the hope of securing more blood-stained profits. What’s that about the right to freedom-of-speech you say? Sure, once upon a time way back when the internet had no commercials and was viewed on a glowing green monitor! Today censorship and state intrusion is ever encroaching, while companies such as Marriot demonstrate a callous indifference on issues of human rights or employees freedom of expression. Welcome to 2018!
Looks as if another western publishing house, Springer Nature, is appeasing the Chinese regime by effectively censoring sensitive issues such as Tibet, Falun Gong, the so-called Cultural Revolution and human rights from its journal platform.It is also reported to be blocking academic articles that may offend dictator Xi Jinping and his cronies. At the same time as applying such censorship we gather the publisher is seeking the english rights to ‘Xi Jinping Tells A Story’ a hagiography of the Chinese meglomaniac.
A petition has been launched against publishers who censor to gain access to markets