My friend F.X. Leach asked me to post on the deportation of American videoblogger "noneck". Fortunately Leach has already put up a comprehensive post that I'm reprinting in full with permission below. The original post appeared on Tibet Will Be Free.
Many bloggers were very impressed with Students for a Free Tibet's Executive Director Lhadon Tethong's blogging efforts in Beijing last year, and wanted to support our work. They came to Beijing to support the Tibet issue, but also to support Chinese bloggers and free speech.
Now American videoblogger noneck has been deported from China for posting videos of SFT protests in Beijing. Here is one of the videos that the Chinese government found so offensive as to deport him for:
While he wasn't "embedded" with SFT, he was always in the loop if a protest in progress, and since most of our protests were in central areas, it was easy for him to get there quick.
Our relationship with him and other bloggers is essentially the same as our relationship with professional journalists, and in fact, we consider citizen journalists such as noneck, to be just as legitimate and well suited as allies in our "this just happened" online media strategy.
noneck is a supporter of SFT, but also a personal friend of Nathan Dorjee, SFT's Digital Operations Director.
BlogSchmog has a great write-up of noneck's deportation and what he's been doing while in Beijing.
Matt Browner-Hamlin is a Democratic internet strategist, writer, and consultant. He has worked with Students for a Free Tibet for over eight years, including two years as a full-time staff member. The views expressed are his alone and not the views of any of his clients.