Close

Donate today to keep Global Voices strong!

Our global community of volunteers work hard every day to bring you the world's underreported stories -- but we can't do it without your help. Support our editors, technology, and advocacy campaigns with a donation to Global Voices!

Donate now

Hong Kong: Web Freedom Under Threat, 50 Cent Party Takeover

With the help of Beijing government, the Chief Executive candidate Leung Chung-Ying won in the small circle election in Hong Kong. Leung was endorsed by 689 votes among the 1200 election committee members. Many local citizens believe that Hong Kong has entered the dark age as Leung has been accused by former underground communist party members in Hong Kong of being a CCP bureaucrat and his leadership thus signifies the end of the city's political autonomy.

Reports from online opinion leaders do confirm that mainland China's style of web-harassment has entered Hong Kong. First of all, the online system of a “mock” civic referendum of Chief Executive organized by the Public Opinion Programme of the Hong Kong University between March 23-24 was attacked by hackers. Global Post reported:

Chung said, “The system has been very busy. We suspect it is under systematic attack as there are more than one million clicks on our system every second,” according to The Australian. According to the newspaper, Chung did not indicate who could be responsible for the hacking, but his team, from the Public Opinion Program, has a history of clashing with Beijing's authorities by revealing that public opinion is against the mainland's official stance.

Secondly, University Professor Simon Shen, who has been proactively analyzed the political implications of the Chief Executive election, has received a large number of email threats demanding him to stop spreading rumors. In addition his public profile in Wikipedia and Wikia has been edited with a lot of defamatory remarks. According to Shen in Facebook [zh]:

近來在網絡世界遇上一些恐嚇言論,雖然不會當真,但日前也收到指名道姓、來自163賬戶的匿名電郵,提及「Dr Shen:這是嚴重警告,請立即停止造謠,否則,3日內有嚴重效果」

Recently I have received a number of threats from the online world. I haven't taken them seriously. But a few days ago, I have received emails from 163 anonymous email accounts which mentioned: “Dr Shen: This is a serious warning. Please stop spreading rumors or you will have very serious consequence in three days”.

在《萬言書》刊登後,同一週內,我在《維基百科》的條目,忽然被加入與事實完全不符的內容;而在另一個名為《香港網絡大典》的網站,也忽然新增了關於我的條目,內容似有誹謗性,數日內就有數百改動。

After I published the “10 thousand words letter”, within a week my public profile in Wikipedia has been edited. The content is without any factual base. In another website: http://evchk.wikia.com, my profile has been added and the content is defamatory. Within a few days, it has been edited more than a few hundred times.

Such web-harassment tactic is very commonly used in mainland China among the 50 cent party.

The third case happened yesterday. A prominent online opinion leader in Hong Kong, Kay Lam's Facebook account was suspended because he uploaded a photo after C.Y Leung won the election:

The picture was titled as the beginning of a dark era in Hong Kong. Obviously, a large number of Facebook Users have filed complaints to Facebook demanding the photos to be deleted and user account to be suspended. Kay Lam posted the notice from Facebook Admin in his blog [zh]:

One or more photos that you uploaded violate Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. It is a violation of our policies to upload photos that:

Target people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or disease

Contain credible threats to harm others, support for violent organizations, or graphic content

7 comments

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.