World Twitter Pokes at China With Emoji Supporting #MilkTeaAlliance
Explained: Beijing's 'maritime militia' dominating the South China Sea
They've been dubbed China's "Little Blue Men," an allegedly Beijing-controlled maritime militia that analysts say could be hundreds of boats and thousands of crew members strong. © National Task Force-West Philippine Sea/AP In this photo provided by the National Task Force-West Philippine Sea, Chinese vessels are moored at Whitsun Reef, South China Sea on March 27, 2021. China doesn't acknowledge their existence and when questioned, refers to them as a "so-called maritime militia.
(Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. has thrown its support behind the Milk Tea Alliance of democracy movements in Hong Kong, Taiwan and other parts of Asia, defying China at a time when Beijing is punishing western companies for commenting on what it considers internal matters.
The social-media company on Thursday prominently displayed flags of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Myanmar and Thailand while unveiling an emoji to support pro-democracy activists in places that have all seen historic protests in recent years and share a love for the milky, caffeinated drink popular in Asia. It will automatically show up when users post the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag, which the company said appeared 11 million times since first popping up a year ago.
The US says China is committing genocide against the Uyghurs. Here's some of the most chilling evidence.
The Uyghurs are a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority that the Chinese government views as a threat in part because some have sought autonomy.The State Department announced new sanctions last week against two Chinese officials it said were directly involved in abuses against the Uyghurs, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said he would consider banning Chinese imports made by the Uyghurs with forced labor. At his first solo news conference, President Joe Biden vowed to be "unrelenting" in calling attention to China's human rights abuses.
Although Twitter gets the majority of its revenue from the U.S. and is banned in China along with Facebook and Google, Asia is generally considered a growth area for the company. American internet giants earn advertisingoff Chinese companies and organizations keen to reach global audiences.
Chinese officials have also increasingly embraced Twitter to counter criticism on a range of topics from snuffing out the democracy movement in Hong Kong to allegations of forced labor in the far west region of Xinjiang. Twitter now labels such accounts as government entities, and in January it used its policy against dehumanization tothe official account for the Chinese Embassy to the U.S. after a post that defended the Communist Party’s policies in Xinjiang.
Hillicon Valley: Facebook and Instagram both offline | Commerce adds to blacklist | Major DC insurance provider hacked | Over half turn out for Amazon union vote in Alabama
Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don't already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE. Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.Facebook and Instagram are both offline as we send this out. The cause of the current outage is unknown.
Last month, Beijing supported a boycott of retailers like Hennes & Mauritz AB amid rising criticism of China’s policies in Xinjiang, where international observers haveabout human rights abuses including detention camps and forced labor in a region that produces much of China’s cotton.
Spokespeople for Twitter and Hong Kong’s government didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Increasingly the Milk Tea Alliance is more than just a meme. Young, digital-savvy activists across the region have shared tactics for organizing and sustaining home-grown protest and democracy movements, while trying to ensure that demonstrators and organizers know how to avoid identification or arrest.
Following Hong Kong’s protracted unrest in 2019, several activists in the territory have voiced support for other democracy movements: First Thai protesters challenging the monarchy and then Myanmar demonstrators following a Feb. 1 coup. Well-known Hong Kong democracy advocate Joshua Wong, who is currently in jail and facing multiple charges, has said the Milk Tea Alliance is not just about anger over China’s policies in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang, but also about China’s growing influence around the region.
'Milk Tea Alliance' brews democracy among young activists across Asia
From Myanmar to Hong Kong, young people are clashing with increasingly authoritarian regimes and taking their struggles online around a unifying and popular regional drink.For many in southeast Asia, the answer is sweet, milky and with a dash of politics.
Twitter on Thursday also voiced opposition to governments censoring the Internet or suppressing access to wireless networks, a tactic deployed by Myanmar’s military government.
“From, to , Twitter continues to play a unique role in enabling the public conversation around important social movements that are happening around the world,” the company tweeted. “During times of civil unrests or violent crackdowns, it is more important than ever for the public to have access to the for real-time updates, credible information, and essential services. .”
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Adam Schiff wants to "reset" the House Intelligence Committee .
On the "Intelligence Matters" podcast this week, host Michael Morell talks with the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee : "I would like to get back to some level of comity — I realize it's going to take time. Within the Democratic caucus, there is continuing anger, among other emotions, over the fact that even after the failed insurrection, so many of our Republican colleagues were back on the House floor trying to overturn the results of the election and propagating the same falsehoods that led to that attack on the Capitol.