Taiwanese netizens were irate to learn that China’s Sina Web site altered pictures of the interior of Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters by removing a Republic of China (ROC) national flag from the pictures.
A netizen going by the alias “sugizo” on Friday published an article on his blog introducing Facebook’s new headquarters in Silicon Valley’s Menlo Park.
According to the article, the new Facebook headquarters occupies 40 hectares, with 10 buildings and more than 3,000 workers. In addition to its size, Facebook opted for an open and liberal working environment in the hopes that workers can maximize their creativity while having fun and feeling comfortable.
With more than 800 million users worldwide, Facebook’s staff also hails from many countries and ethnicities around the world, so the company allows workers to hang national flags in their offices.
According to pictures in sugizo’s article, the ROC national flag should be displayed beside the South Korean and the Japanese flag.
However, sugizo discovered in an article titled “Exclusive Interview about Facebook’s New Headquarters” on Sina that two photos had been altered, one removing the flag entirely and the other cutting off the 12-ray sun emblem on the blue background, leaving only a section of red.
Some Taiwanese netizens accused Beijing of only “satisfying its own ego” because it had already forbidden Chinese netizens from using Facebook.
Other netizens made satirical comments, saying that “President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) would order the national flags to be taken down when Chinese officials visit anyway.”
The netizens were referring to reported incidents in November 2008 when Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) visited Taiwan for the first time and was met with protesters holding ROC flags, many of which were confiscated by police.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer