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Facebook employees are annoyed by China’s ads depicting happy Muslims in Xinjiang

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HONG KONG – Facebook Inc. is banned in China, but Beijing is a big user of the platform to spread its political views to hundreds of millions of people overseas, sometimes through advertisements.

Now, some Facebook employees are voicing concerns on internal message boards and other employee discussions that the company is being used as a channel for state propaganda, and highlighting sponsored posts from Chinese organizations claiming to be the Uyghur Muslim ethnic minority in China’s Xinjiang region show according to people familiar with the matter.

The US and some European governments say Beijing is committing genocide against the Uyghurs, citing a campaign that includes political indoctrination, mass internment and forced sterilization.

Facebook hasn’t made a decision on whether to respond to the concerns, say people familiar with the matter. The company is watching international organizations like the United Nations react to the situation in Xinjiang, one of the people said. The UN this week urged companies that do business with Xinjiang to perform “significant human rights due diligence” in their operations.

A Facebook spokesperson said Beijing’s Xinjiang ads didn’t violate current guidelines, as long as advertisers follow Facebook’s rules when making a purchase. He said the company is monitoring reports on the situation in Xinjiang “to inform our approach and due diligence on the matter.”

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