Facebook ‘Complicit’ In Vietnam Censorship

Amnesty International on Wednesday accused Facebook of "caving" to Vietnam's strict censorship regime, after the United States (US) tech giant confirmed it was blocking content deemed illegal by the country's communist government.Authorities regularly sentence domestic critics to harsh prison terms but have come under fire recently for targeting dissent on the world's most popular social network. Facebook is a popular platform for activists in Vietnam, where

23 April 2020

Thai journalist warns of threat to media freedom

A Thai journalist sentenced to two years in prison for defaming the owner of a poultry farm via a tweet said Thursday the kingdom's criminal libel laws are eviscerating media freedom.A court convicted Suchanee Cloitre in December for a tweet referencing a dispute over working conditions at a chicken farm owned by the Thammakaset company.The farm had been at the centre of a labour dispute by Myanmar workers complaining of punishing working hours and conditions.Thailand's Supreme Cour

10 January 2020

Singapore cuts same-sex kiss from Star Wars movie 

A brief kiss between two women in the new "Star Wars" movie was cut from the version released in Singapore, local media said."The Rise of Skywalker", the conclusion to the nine "Star Wars" films that stars Daisy Ridley, was released in the Asian city-state on Thursday.The film contains a brief scene where two minor female characters share a kiss – but the moment is omitted in the version screened in Singapore, according to Yahoo Lifestyle SEA.The news site report

22 December 2019

Yale in academic censorship row in Singapore

Yale's Singapore college has become embroiled in a row about academic freedom after axing a course on dissent, with the controversy fuelling a wider debate on whether universities are compromising their values to expand abroad.The Yale-NUS College, a partnership with the National University of Singapore, opened in 2013, drawing criticism from activists and its own faculty over the decision to set up in the city-state, due to its restrictions on civil liberties.Such fears intensified last

29 October 2019

Vietnam pulls animated film over disputed map

Vietnam has pulled the animated film "Abominable" from theatres over a scene featuring a map of the South China Sea showing Beijing's claims in the flashpoint waterway, cinemas and state media reported Monday.China has long used its so-called nine-dash line to justify its jurisdiction over most of the resource-rich sea, often to the displeasure of Hanoi, which also claims parts of the waterway.The U-shaped line appears on a map of the South China Sea in a scene in the film – re

15 October 2019

ASEAN in View: John La Raw

While little may be known about Myanmar cinema outside the country, the industry is rapidly expanding thanks to a new generation of filmmakers who are looking to break away from the comedy genre so popular with local cinema goers.One of these rising filmmakers is John La Raw, a Catholic priest who has always had a lifelong passion for filmmaking.

11 August 2019

Myanmar’s filmmakers are playing catch-up

A deadly race to find hidden treasure, car chases and slick fight scenes drive the breakneck narrative of one of Myanmar's latest blockbusters, as a new generation of directors aim to revive the country's golden era of film.The Southeast Asian nation used to be a regional cinematic hub before the 1962-installed military junta suppressed creativity, imposed censorship and cut the country off from outside influences.Myanmar's opening up since 2011 has so far done little to propel

8 June 2019

China pursuing 'new world media order'

China is trying to establish a "new world media order" to prevent and counter criticism, a project that threatens press freedom globally, watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warned in a report released Monday.Communist authorities in China strictly control the flow of information to citizens, including through the "Great Firewall" which blocks access to websites and content deemed inappropriate by the state.But the bid to regulate information is not limited to China,

26 March 2019

Growing concerns for Internet freedom in Southeast Asia

 University of Oxford published a study last year titled “Troops, Trolls and Troublemakers: A Global Inventory of Organised Social Media Manipulation” which highlighted “cyber troops” that governments or political parties would use to manipulate public opinion over social media. One of the countries that was included in the study was the Philippines.

28 February 2018