On December 26, Tibetan writer and activist Tsering Woeser used her Facebook page to post a report and video of a Buddhist monk's self-immolation in Tibet. Within hours, Facebook deleted the post because it allegedly violated the social media giant's "community standards."
Frankly, what's actually being violated is Woeser's freedom of expression and millions of Tibetans' basic human right to have their suffering known by the world. Censoring the truth about China's oppression of Tibetans — so severe and pervasive that some see setting themselves on fire as their only way to be heard — is wrong and shameful.
Some, including the New York Times
, have implied that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is trying to win favor with Chinese government officials in hopes of expanding his business to China. If that is the case, he needs to know that moral values such as free speech and respect for Tibetans' lives are more important than profits. If he thinks people of conscience like you won't protest censorship, he needs to think again!
Sign the International Campaign for Tibet's petition telling Facebook to let Tibetans be heard.
Click to share on Facebook:
Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,
When Facebook deleted a post by Tsering Woeser with a video of Buddhist monk’s self-immolation in Tibet, she said she could not believe her eyes and wondered when Facebook became, “like a Chinese website.”
When I heard about this censorship of information about life and death in Tibet, I was outraged.
The people of Tibet are struggling mightily – and peacefully – to free themselves of the Chinese government’s oppression. Silencing the voices of Tibetan activists like Tsering Woeser diminishes Tibetans’ hope of ever living in peace.
I understand that Facebook cited company policy regarding “community standards” when the post was deleted. But exceptions must be made for political actions undertaken to draw attention to an issue of life and death – especially when those actions occur in places where freedom of expression is not allowed.
As you well know, it is the Chinese Communist Party’s policy to censor news from and about Tibet. I trust you do not want to be complicit in censorship.
[Your comments here]
Tsering Woeser reports that this is the first time one of her posts has been deleted. I demand that you make it the last time Facebook limits information about the crisis in Tibet, and that you restore Tsering Woeser's deleted post.