Politics • Asian • China
ByteDance accused of censoring anti-China content in Indonesia
ByteDance Logo
ByteDance Logo Credit: ByteDance

Reuters reports that, from 2018 to mid-2020, ByteDance censored content in its BaBe app in Indonesia. According to Reuters sources, local moderators were instructed to remove content perceived as critical of the Chinese government.

Articles with references to 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, or to Mao Zedong, the founder of modern China, were among those taken down.

In a statement, BaBe disagreed with the claims: "A cursory search on the BaBe app shows numerous articles and videos that highlight the type of content these claims say we would remove."

ByteDante has previously faced criticism as TikTok, one of their applications, has been criticizes for its alleged data harvesting on behalf of the Chinese state.

Politics • Asian • China
Democracy activists' books disappear from Hong Kong libraries after new law
Democracy activists' books disappear from Hong Kong libraries after new law
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Books written by prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy figures, including Joshua Wong and lawmaker Tanya Chan, have started to disappear from the Chinese-ruled city’s public libraries. According to Reuters, the books are being reviewed to see whether or not they violate a new national security law.

On Twitter, Joshua Wong wrote "Less than a week after #NationalSecurityLaw has been put in place, #Hongkong's public libraries started to put books under review and suspend them from lending, including two of mine published in 2013 and 2015.".

Technology • Internet & Web
Messenger app Telegram announces that it will develop anti-censorship tools for Iran and China
Messenger app Telegram announces that it will develop anti-censorship tools for Iran and China
Credit: unsplash.com / Christian Wiediger

The co-founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, has announced that the company will direct "anti-censorship resources into other places where Telegram is still banned by governments — places like Iran and China". In the past Telegram has already developed and provided users with tools to circumvent the Telegram ban in Russia.

Politics • American • US
John Bolton claims Trump called journalists "scumbags" who "should be executed"
Cover of "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir"
Cover of "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir" Credit: Simon & Schuster, via Amazon

In "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir", John Bolton details his time as national security advisor and claims Trump said journalists, who he called "scumbags", should be jailed to force them to expose their sources and that they "should be executed".

The Trump administration has submitted an application to a district court on Wednesday to get an injunction and an emergency restraining order to stop the book from being published.

Technology • Internet & Web
Zoom has censored pro-democracy activism in US after China requested it
Zoom logo
Zoom logo Credit: Zoom

The video call provider Zoom has announced that it complied with requests from the Chinese government to block meetings that commemorated the 1989 protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Three sessions had attendees from mainland China and were shut down. The company has stated that it lacks the technology to exclude users based on region and therefore ended the meetings altogether, later saying that it won't comply with requests from the Chinese government in the future if the people are not located in mainland China.

Politics • American • Brazil
Brazilian Government hides Covid-19 historical data amid rising death toll
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with his cabinet
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with his cabinet Credit: Carolina Antunes/PR

Brazil is limiting the amount of data it publishes about Covid-19 cases and deaths as the government of President Jair Bolsonaro grows uncomfortable with the criticism about its handling of the outbreak.

The Health Ministry of Brazil announced Friday it would only be reporting cases and deaths in the past 24 hours, no longer giving a total figure as most countries do.

Former Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said on Saturday: “From a health perspective, it’s a tragedy ... Not giving out the information makes the state more harmful than the disease.”. Mandetta also likened Bolsonaro's orders to an information blackout on a meningitis epidemic during the nation’s military regime.

Politics • Asian
Philippines' ABS-CBN ordered to cease operations
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Centre
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Centre Credit: wikimedia/PinoyExplorer/CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Philippines broadcaster ABS-CBN was forced by order from the National Telecommunications Commission to cease operations on Tuesday. ABS-CBN's broadcasting license expired on Monday and the parliament dominated by President Rodrigo Duterte loyalists wouldn't renew their license. Duterte has been threatening to block ABS-CBN's renewal after the channel has angered him in the past. NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios said that the network could appeal through court.