The Milk Tea Alliance is an online global pro-democracy movement, for which Twitter has recently released an emoji. The Milk Tea Alliance has worked in unison with anti-Beijing campaigners in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Protesters of the movement are from Thailand, Myanmar and beyond.
The newly released emoji is represented by a white cup set in front of a three-color background. The three different colors represent the different shades of milk tea in Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The Alliance came into existence after Chinese nationalists accused a young Thai actor and his girlfriend of supporting democracy in Hong Kong and Taiwanese independence. This was followed by arguments blowing up on Twitter, after which, the hashtag #MilkTeaAlliance surfaced on the platform.
The hashtag peaked yet again in February after the military coup was activated in Myanmar and the protesters in the region who used the hashtag rallied regional support.
Twitter announced that it saw more than 11 million Tweets featuring the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag over the past year, which has recently led to the hashtag to be among the top trending in Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Thai activist and one of Milk Tea Alliance's leading voices, Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, acknowledged Twitter’s efforts in promoting the movement. She said that the emoji showed “global recognition and lent greater credibility to the youth movement.”
"It's important as it shows the young people fighting for democracy that the world is with them and they're making an impact. It's a sign that online activism can go much further,” said Netiwit.
Twitter has previously launched emojis for similar purposes, including the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements.