Amidst strict censorship laws, Facebook is not Vietnam’s Savior

Facebook icon. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

Posted By Jenn

By Guest Contributor: Ngan Chiem

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the Vietnamese government began sabotaging the connectivity of local Facebook servers for 7 weeks. They wanted to pressure Facebook into removing anti-party content on its platform. To the alarm of international human rights agencies around the world, Facebook complied with the regime’s demands.

Following their controversial concession to the Vietnamese government, Facebook issued a statement positioning themselves as defenders of free speech against oppressive regimes.

“Millions of people in Vietnam use our services every day….We don’t always see eye to eye with governments on issues like speech and expression, including in Vietnam, but we work hard to defend this right around the world.”

This has been Facebook’s defense after complying with authoritarian censorship since 2015: concession to block a few to spare service for the rest. 

Continue reading “Amidst strict censorship laws, Facebook is not Vietnam’s Savior”

“Misogynasian” and Why Gender Discrimination in Tech Must Be an Asian American Issue

Posted By Jenn


Three years ago, Ellen Pao — former junior partner of Silicon Valley venture capital group Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers — filed a lawsuit against her former employers, citing a pattern of bias against female employees; yesterday, lawyers in her suit against Kleiner completed their closing statements with a plea for greater efforts to address gender equality in the tech industry. Pao’s suit alleges that Pao was harassed, and eventually fired, from Kleiner for challenging a culture of sexual harassment within her former company.

Throughout the Pao trial, Pao has courageously endured the usual victim-blaming, character assassination and mudslinging used to dismiss, invalidate, and insubstantiate the experiences of women. She has been tone policed. She has been slut-shamed. She has been labelled a gold digger. She has been accused of being untalented, amateurish, and unprofessional. The message Kleiner’s lawyers are trying to communicate is clear: Ellen Pao is lone voice trying to capitalize off an imagined gender problem in Silicon Valley.

The problem for Silicon Valley is that Ellen Pao is not alone.

Last week, Taiwanese American Chia “Chloe” Hong filed a civil suit against Facebook for gender discrimination. Days later, software engineer Tina Huang filed a civil suit against Twitter, also alleging gender discrimination in the company’s failure to promote women to management positions.

It should escape no one’s notice that all three of these high-profile gender bias lawsuits have been filed by Asian American women.

Continue reading ““Misogynasian” and Why Gender Discrimination in Tech Must Be an Asian American Issue”

Reappropriate: The Podcast – Ep. 6 | Is Digital Activism “Real” Activism?

Posted By Jenn

Episode 6 of Reappropriate: The Podcast is now live! This episode features a great conversation between myself and Cayden Mak (@Cayden) of 18MillionRising. We talk identity formation in an increasingly digital age, as well as digital tools as one of several tools in an activist toolbox. We briefly touch on the Stephen Salaita controversy in relation to the perils of when digital activism crosses over into the real-world.

You can stream the video and audio of episode 6 using YouTube above (subscribe to my channel to be notified of new episodes), listen to just the audio using the mp3 player below, or download the podcast for your iPod or iPhone through the iTunes Store.

Next episode: Please join me in two weeks’ time when I hope to have a conversation about the third rail in AAPI politics: interracial dating. Guests are still being scheduled, so episode time and link are TBA.

Audio Only:

Better Social Media Integration (and a New G+ Account)

Posted By Jenn

This blog had been previously using the Sociable WP plugin to power its social media integration. However, I wasn’t too happy with this plugin’s general lack of customization, and what seemed like a crazy long load time. So, I spent some time over lunch today writing a manual integration of Twitter, Facebook and GPlus for this blog.

In summary, you should now have an easier time sharing Reappropriate posts through your favourite social media sites. If you have any issues, please let me know.

Also, because I needed to test Google+ integration, I got a Google+ account for this blog: Please add me if you happen to also be on the site.

Facebook Share Button Currently Non-Functional

Posted By Jenn

So, apparently as of today, Facebook eliminated support for third-party share buttons, at least in such a way as was being used by this site. For the moment, I have deactivated share functionality on the blog, and am searching for a new way to reintegrate Facebook with this site. If anyone out there is familiar with how to do this, please shoot me a tweet or an email.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

Update: Okay, so it turns out that I was using the old “Share” button and that Facebook is forcing us to transition to the unrolled “Like” button that was released awhile back. I hadn’t wanted to switch because liking eliminates the ability to make a comment on your FB page as you share it with friends but… well… it’s impossible to use the “Share” button now so we’re all stuck with “Like”.

I’ve replaced the existing social media options on the blog with Sociable, which has Facebook, Twitter and G+. Please let me know if you want me to add any other sharing options to the site; I’m happy to do it. Please let me know if you have any problems getting anything to work. I’ve tested both the Facebook and Twitter buttons, and they seem to be functional.