You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Twitter launches #MilkTeaAlliance emoji to mark one-year anniversary of solidarity movement

Coconuts logo Coconuts 3 days ago Coconuts Hong Kong
graphical user interface, text, application: The Milk Tea Alliance, originally a loose coalition that brewed among activists in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand, has grown into a broader movement against growing authoritarianism in many parts of Asia. Photos: Twitter The Milk Tea Alliance, originally a loose coalition that brewed among activists in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand, has grown into a broader movement against growing authoritarianism in many parts of Asia. Photos: Twitter

Twitter has introduced an emoji for the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag to mark the the first anniversary of the solidarity movement, which has united protesters in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and beyond in their fights against authoritarianism.

The social media company announced Thursday that the emoji, an illustration of a cup featuring three color shades of tea, will now automatically appear when the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag is tweeted in English, Chinese, Thai and Burmese.

“We have seen more than 11 million Tweets featuring the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag over the past year,” Twitter, which is blocked in China, wrote.

It added: “From #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter to #MilkTeaAlliance, Twitter continues to play a unique role in enabling the public conversation around important social movements that are happening around the world.”

Milk tea emerged as a symbol emblematic of frustration towards growing authoritarianism in many parts of Asia last April, when #MilkTeaAlliance first began trending on Twitter.

Activists from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand tweet the hashtag to call attention to their own political movements, and to amplify each others.

In Hong Kong and Taiwan, many take to social media to denounce Beijing’s grating assertiveness in tweets about the Communist Party’s crackdown in the former British Colony and China’s threat to invade what it sees as a breakaway province.

In Thailand, young people are demanding reform of the monarchy, the abolition of a lese majest law that criminalizes insulting the royal family, and the release of jailed political leaders.

Originally a movement named after popular variations of milk tea in the three places, the Milk Tea Alliance has come to encompass a broader coalition of anti-authoritarianism protesters in Asia, including in India and Myanmar.

In the latter, violent anti-coup demonstrations have killed over 500 and the army’s internet shutdowns have created a communications blackout and stifled the flow of real-time, credible updates.

Twitter, in announcing the #MilkTeaAlliance emoji, emphasized the importance of a free and open internet during times of unrest.

“No matter where in the world you are, please grab a good cup of [tea] and join the conversation to show your love and support for the #MilkTeaAlliance,” the social media company wrote.

This article, Twitter launches #MilkTeaAlliance emoji to mark one-year anniversary of solidarity movement, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

More From Coconuts

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon