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
Graphic courtesy of @anonriddler/twitter
It appears as if the global outcry at the censorship applied by Cambridge University Press (CUP) at the behest of the Chinese regime has resulted in a volte face by the respected publisher. An announcement issued 8/21 by Cambridge University, which owns CUP, made clear it was making publications previously blocked available again. A decision no doubt much to the annoyance of China’s authorities.
The international response to the censorship applied by CUP was intense, drawing severe criticism from across the academic community and human rights advocates. It also generated action from Anonymous activists who targeted the website of CUP taking it offline during the course of two days. Meanwhile a statement has been posted on Twitter by #Op_Tibet and #anons4TIBET which welcomes the decision but warns Cambridge University Press that further action will result if any more censorship is applied. Thanks to @AnonymousTibet for the headsup on this information.
Cambridge University has a tradition of accommodating the Chinese regime, we need only to recall a willingness of Trinity College to host in 2013 prominent members of China’s Ministry of Public Security. On the condition from conference organizers that no mention of human rights or issues such as Tibet were permitted!
Now the University is embroiled in another China-linked controversy, as Cambridge University Press (CUP) has conformed to a demand from the Chinese authorities to block online access to journals and other data. Unsurprisingly the subject areas targeted for such censorship include Tiananmen, the so-called Cultural Revolution, Tibet, East Turkistan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
In response to the international concern and outrage which has followed CUP has issued a statement which contains the following:
“The issue of censorship in China…is not short term issue and therefore requires a longer term approach.….we will continue to take every opportunity to influence this agenda”. Emphasis added. (tweeted by @CambridgeUP 8/8/2017)
Such a response has a worrying similarity to comments drafted by the British equivalent of the State Department, which also masks its appeasement of China with arguments of ‘constructive engagement’ and being a ‘force of moderation’. In truth however such change never materializes, the human rights atrocities continue, forced labor camps flourish, women forcibly sterilized, while Tibetans are brutally denied their cultural and national freedom.
Cambridge University Press is hiding behind the same self-serving justification, yet in doing so it is in contradiction to the values of human rights and freedom of thought it claims to champion.
“Freedom of thought and expression underpin what we as publishers believe in..” (tweeted by @CambridgeUP 8/8/2017)
Really? From where most reasonable and intelligent folks are standing CPU looks to be in an indefensible position. Being actively complicit in censorship on the inane suggestion that at some undetermined future point its engagement with China’s regime can realize ‘progress’. Meanwhile blood-stained cash from China continues to fund the world of academia and Cambridge University no doubt benefits from its more than cordial relations with the Chinese authorities and numerous companies and institutions!