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Twitter, Meta layoffs spur political safeguard fears across Asia

Authoritarian regimes could strengthen grip on social media platforms

Since the 2019 pro-democracy protests, Twitter has played a vital role for the Hong Kong people to share information with the outside world. (Source photos by AP and Reuters) 

TAIPEI/HONG KONG -- Layoffs announced by Twitter and Facebook's parent company, Meta, have sparked alarm among political activists, human rights advocates and digital media researchers across Asia, who warn that laxer social media safeguards could force dissidents offline.

"Asia is a region of particular concern when it comes to the interplay between social media platforms and major human rights violations and atrocities," said Omar Waraich, a special adviser to Open Society Foundations which focuses on human rights research and government advocacy.

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