Chinese internet companies censor people who write or speak Tibetan or Uyghur, helping cultural genocides in China
of souvenir-Jack-Ma department
Techdirt has reported on the oppression of Tibetans by Chinese authorities for 15 years now. More recently, Turkic-speaking Uyghurs in Xinjiang have undergone the same treatment, with the apparent aim of breaking their spirits and enforcing total obedience. But alongside the hundreds of prisons and physical repression – sometimes resulting in deaths – Chinese authorities have made it increasingly difficult for Tibetans and Uyghurs to preserve their distinctive, non-Han cultures. Now, Chinese Internet companies are helping these cultural genocides, reported here by Protocol:
It was first Talkmate, a language learning app partner of UNESCO, which published via its official Weibo account that it had “temporarily” removed Tibetan and Uyghur lessons “because of the policies. government “. There is no fixed date for their return.
On some services, even people who already speak these languages are not allowed to write them. Popular Chinese streaming service Bilibili has banned comments posted in Tibetan and Uyghur:
Screen recordings shared by Fergus Ryan, senior analyst at ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Center, showed that when attempting to enter comments in Uyghur and Tibetan, he received error messages saying: ” The comment contains sensitive information “.
Likewise, on Douyin, the original Chinese version of TikTok, whenever streamers speak an ethnic minority language or dialect, they will receive a warning to switch to Standard Chinese. And if they don’t, Douyin’s moderators will simply cut off the feed regardless of the content.
Companies are unlikely to do this with the explicit intention of stifling Tibetan and Uyghur cultures. They are more likely to fear punishment if they miss content that the Chinese government might see as “inciting” terrorism or separatism. The dramatic fall from the grace of Chinese tech outspoken billionaire Jack Ma is a frightening warning to all internet companies, big or small. Safer to block everything in these sensitive languages, it seems. And so, the rich living cultures of Tibet and the Uyghurs are still approaching extinction.
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Filed Under: censorship, china, culture, internet, tibet, uyghurs, xinjiang