What Hong Kong’s protests look like from inside China


If you search Hong Kong right now, this is the kind of stuff you see. But not in China. There you get results like this. State media describing protests as riots, and the result of the U.S. meddling in
Chinese affairs. The rest is celebrity gossip and stock market news about Hong Kong. Millions have flooded the streets of Hong Kong to protest an extradition law that they feel is the Chinese government’s latest attempt to exert control. If there is ever a news event to test the limits of Chinese online censorship, this is it. Massive demonstrations in a place, with free speech, that’s technically part of China, with related posts written in Chinese. But over the past decade China’s censorship apparatus has become ever more sophisticated, and now they’re creating an alternate reality about Hong Kong in real-time. Here’s how they’re doing it: The most basic tactic is
censoring a list of keywords. — Some kinds of a keyword list that [they] already built-in directly related to the protest. It had no chance to be published. This is King-wa Fu a professor at the University of Hong Kong. He studies censorship in China. Keyword censoring is pretty straight forward. Post something that says democracy gets flagged and taken down. This is largely done automatically by
computers, and the software keeps getting better. Videos, images, and voice messages
can all be identified as sensitive. — Some people have said that sometimes and they try to send messages with pictures of protests in Hong Kong, were talking about Hong Kong, the messages disappear in the chat on WeChat. These images and others of the Hong Kong protests are blocked on both WeChat and Weibo. Software can only do so much though, so the government also pays humans, often through private companies, to manually comb through content. It’s become a huge industry employing tens of thousands of people, and even more during big news
events like this one, who adapt censorship to respond to events in real time. This Chinese user posted to protest photos on Weibo disguised with a caption urban landscape photography. It seemed to work at first. The post was shared by more than six hundred people with many mentioning Hong Kong. Then the photos suddenly stopped spreading. In the past when post disappeared from the internet you knew you were being censored, but new tactics seemed designed to sow confusion. The post was quietly removed from people’s timelines, but stayed on the timeline of the person who sent it. And on the messaging app WeChat researchers found that some messages appear sent from the users perspective but never make it to the receiver. The people in China who try to show support for Hong Kong end up playing cat and mouse with censors. Take this photo that was blocked
on WeChat. One journalist found that adding artistic brushstrokes and rotating the image 90 degrees, finally got it past censorship. The last time Hong Kong protested at such a large scale it was easier to share information and images in China. That was back in 2014 during what came to be known as the ‘Umbrella Movement.’ At that time people in China largely access to information through Instagram, but within days censors blocked the platform all together, and it’s been inaccessible ever since. This time, Telegram, an encrypted messaging app, has been used to share protests updates. It’s difficult to block outright, unlike Instagram, but has reportedly come under attack by a network of computers in China disrupting its service. Since 2014, China has also raised the cost of getting sensitive content past censors. A new cybersecurity law requires people to use their real names on social media and they can go to jail for online speech. The result of all this is an alternative universe of information, one that’s drifting further and further away from the reality on the ground in Hong Kong. —They don’t like to have discussion in China, about all these things, about the protest, about the police action, about the bill. They don’t want to give the Chinese people as signal that they have the same rights. Creating an information void also allows the government to control the narrative later on. This is already happening. Searching ‘Hong Kong’ now returns a lot more results than at the beginning of the protests, but most are from state media, claiming that they were caused by ‘American dirty hands interfering in China’s internal affairs.’ Protesters in Hong Kong say that seeing these limits on freedom drives them to come out in force, fearful of a future where China exerts even greater control over their lives. And in fact this is already happening. — We are afraid of using the social media to spread a post or even upload a photo. That would be evidence for putting us in jail. The protesters in Hong Kong have delayed passage of the extradition bill, but the demonstrations are still heavily censored in China. When it comes to freedom of expression people in Hong Kong and China are fighting an uphill battle — I’m quite pessimistic about this. Hong Kong is trying to do whatever they can. — At the end of the day this is a basic humanities issue. people want to have a signal to the people. Let the people know something happened.

100 thoughts on “What Hong Kong’s protests look like from inside China

  1. China's government is trying to suppress freedom of speech in Australia too, they pressure our media not to air material that is critical of the chinese government. Assholes.

  2. knowing about this why only one third of the hongkongers protest on the street? in this modern age I am really surprised still there are so many people who want China communism. really the y want to be deprived of freedom of speech, democracy, everything. for me these protesters are very brave. these youngsters are doing adults' job.

  3. not only china tries to block the information they don't want people to see. Everyone does that, youtube or twitter, is the same

  4. question: why are you not sharing the photos where the protesters are being violent and attacks innocent individuals? I don't deny anything you posted here but only showing one side of the story makes you exactly the same as the Chinese government. The government uses softwares, while you and the general western media uses partial information and biased reporting. There's nothing new in this game.

  5. If American chinese reporters is in hongkong ,if they speak chinese, they will be attacked by protesters. So that is what they do, they just hate chinese even you are American. If you are white people , they will show how nice and gently to you . DISCRIMINATION IN HONGKONG PROTESTERS.

  6. It's funny that you can see evidence of Chinese censorship on youtube videos about Hong Kong. They're going as far as hiring people to spread Chinese propaganda to Americans and other English speaking people.

  7. I am mainland. I support HK. But
    when I in mainland, I will avoid to speak about politics for bring me in trouble quickly.

  8. 亲爱的香港人,请停止暴动.我是外地华人也看不下去.为何要暴动?为何要独立?有个强大国家在背后支持不好吗?独立又怎么样?到来也是要靠边投岸! 成为华人应该要支持华人,支持祖国.对外不对内. 醒醒吧! 要不然你这辈子白吃米了

  9. This sounds very much like YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, FB, etc. 🤔 The fake news, and propaganda is strong in US, to the point of mind control. Search MK Ultra

  10. China heavily controls what 1/5th of the world sees and reads. That is horrible, the world must fight this or it might one day happen to everyone.

  11. Yeap. The freedom of speech is only about speech freely. Then keep speaking and do nothing. That's called freedom to scold massive gun shooting but just keep speaking until next one happens again.

  12. Shit. Just look up here on YouTube. You'll see the brainwashing attempts to the west with their biased news sources popping up as the first 3-4 results.

    Even the comments are all bots or plants. You can tell by their bad English.

    If you wanna know what the Chinese censorship looks like for these protests, just look here.

  13. biased report as always…all the talk of the western media have only one purpose:mess up CHina,slowdown its development speed. While all the "bad" things China did also have only one purpose:make chinese life better and stronger.Look inside and imagine putting yourself in the place. Dont follow like foolish sheep.

  14. ,people who come from hk plz stop this nonsense bc i’m a hong konger and we all have families u know so plz stop this u rioters

  15. I was quite happy with ur app previously but now, seeing how biased u guys actually are… I will stop using u guys’ services. U call this a protest, it’s been a riot for very long now after they attack innocent ppl and set fire on public subway station. I’m sure u r not blind, but by ignoring what u see, u don’t deserve call ur content news. Shame on u.

  16. When you search “Hong Kong” you only can see those videos in riots side which all western media are Bias, not truth, unfortunately you can not see the real HK. Another word, why should you complain media in China?

  17. 3 months now after the clip was uploaded. who do you think are fooled? Chinese or westerners? rioting is a crime. no matter if it happens in UK, Catalan or HK, China.

  18. Thanks for this video hope this most of people in communist' countries will see it and understand why the young students from high schools and universities over 2 millions are marching on street and fighting for freedom & democracy

  19. I think some people are missing the point. Yeah we have misleading media in the west, but we have competition and alternative media. They only get one version of every story, the one that CCP allows, all nay sayers go to JAIL, their voice won't be heard, you see where's the difference now ? So no, it's not like what our media does, it's a lot worse.

  20. LMAO😂 Voice of America was forbidden to broadcast directly to American citizens under § 501 of the Smith–Mundt Act.

  21. Quartz is reporting what inside of China like from the outside…. is that how you do reports in university? WOW LMAO

  22. I feel so bad for the Chinese people and the Hong Kong people and the North Korean people, they’re all in a similar predicament.

  23. What you see here is actually the other side of the bias. The citizen in mainland China don't get to see Hong Kong people protesting for freedom and prosperity because of the censorship, but in the same way, because of the western media and 'wall street journalism', you and I didn't see some poor police guy suffering III degree burn caused by a freedom Molotov chuck by the 'peaceful protestors' (hopefully minor few), nor would you see innocent citizens and small business owners being raided and robbed like in Kristallnacht by some opportunist taking advantage of the protest. Rn you have been offered two sides of the spectrum, as well as the freedom of speech and thoughts, so plz, think thoroughly with the luck you've been gifted with.

  24. If one guy abides law for 30 years, but one day murder a person, he is a murderer. So what's wrong calling this movement riot even the rioters are just minority among them?

  25. 「&^3 危険はものすごいスピードでやってくるかもしれん」
    In Japan, they are killed when they go against Nuclear Village.

    I thought about this. Why would I think it would be better to look for different energy possibilities than to stick to nuclear power?

    Thinking about that, I tried to wash the past events again.

    This is important because of the Great Sichuan Earthquake. 2008 ・ 512

    Hong Kong media reported about radiation leaks, but China did not.

    Is nuclear power maintained in the world for some experimentation?

    A little worrisome, are there any side effects that are not good for the experiment?

    Many people in Hong Kong are angry, but someday in China they may be angry. Any country may want to think about when information was cut off.

    In preparation for the day when information is cut off, I will meditate to train my inspiration. I want the ability to feel geomagnetism.

    h/why=yhwh=360° エディ55

    日本では原子力村に逆らうと抹殺される。

    このことについて考えてみた。私は原子力に固執するよりも色んなエネルギーの可能性を捜す方が良いと考えるのに、なぜだろう?

    そう考えて、もう一度過去の出来事を洗い直してみた。

    四川大震災、これが重要だ。2008・512

    香港メディアは放射能漏洩について伝えたが、中国は伝えていない。

    原子力は何かの実験の為に世界では維持されているのだろうか?

    少し気になるのが、実験には良くない副作用が起きていないだろうか?

    香港では多くの人達が怒りを持った行動をしているが、中国でもいつか怒りを持った行動をするかもしれない。どの国も情報が遮断された時のことを考えた方が良いかもしれない。

    情報が遮断される日の為に備えて、私は霊感を鍛える為に、瞑想をしようと思う。地磁気を感じる能力が欲しい。

    洋楽 和訳 Marshmello ft. Bastille – Happier 【和訳&歌詞】Left Right Left – Charlie Puth

  26. I feel so sorry for what the people in Hong-Kong are going through. The UK abandoned Hong-Kong and the people that were living in the UK. I do not understand how they can take in people from the Middle East and Africa. But not take the people from a colony that they were controlling and using. I really pray and hope that you and Hong-Kong get your freedom that you deserve. Everyone deserves the right to be free.

  27. The biggest problem is west likes to think it knows more about China than the Chinese and exclaim 1984 is here!! With estimated 80 million or more vpn access within China you’d be surprised how much Chinese people know. I was in China and HK at the time of the riot, mainland Chinese understanding of the HK event was way more sophisticated than the HK and western people like to believe. Surprisingly, their attitude was clear and unanimous.

    Plus even if the Chinese people had to be ‘taught’ a lesson about democracy, they were certainly not willing to accept it from the falling west, let along Mislead HK youth.

  28. Hong Kong law makers are fools. There was a girl who was murdered by a Hong Kong resident and nothing was done to punish him. Hong Kong has the freedom to take life and not be responsible for your actions.

  29. Sorry but we can see reality more clearly than “protesters” since we can see both media in mainland and western,then compare and reach the truth. But protesters never see mainland news,they only watch local or western media thus has narrower perspective. Ironically,mainland people is more close to the truth. After 5 months,we still support police,this idea will never change until Hong kong back to peace.

  30. Thats is why so many chinese mainlanders bots in Youtube making bad images about U.S and HK because they can't censorhip Youtube… hahahahahahah… lets together expel all chinese mainlanders here, they don't fits here… it's belongs to us.. freedom peoples… except weibo… hahahaha

  31. This is exactly how it works in America too. Just try talking about any of the forbidden subjects, like race or Israel, on here or any Western message board or social media. On reddit, you get silent censored or silent banned by a mod. They even banned the one pro-Trump subreddit.

  32. US and UK is acting with no difference. Protestors in US' ally and friends are called rioters, like France, Spain, Iraq, in US' foe, they are called "peaceful protestors".

  33. 香港加油
    共產黨這種控制洗腦真的是從出生就開始的 大部分中國人當局者迷
    不懂自由為何物真的令人悲傷

  34. They are already rich and live middle class, do you think they care about higher cause like in 1980s ? They become weaker when they are rich. no balls.

  35. Many Chinese are really easily misled by coverage which is even not true. They dont have the ability to think critically. It is very complicate. Maybe blocking all the sensitive information is the most simple and effect way.

  36. Censorship in China is true. But I found western media are also quite biased during this HK protest reporting. Rioting became so brutal yet western kept calling them pro-democracy protesters. It was maybe a couple of weeks ago I heard “Hong Kong protests” on NPR. Actually, you can see so many violence videos about HK rioters without relying on mainstream media and make your own decision. I support peaceful protests not rioters, I condemn inhuman behaviors of beating or killing others who disagree with you ( remember there is one civilian death by rioters and one was seriously burned).

  37. Here is the real different difference between Communist China State controled media vs Democratic Western media.

    China's media doesn't let you talk about anything negative about them. It will censor what they deem inappropriate or inciting.
    Western media bombards you with disinformation, false narratives, and straight-up propaganda lies to further any agenda. So much so that President Trump calls left-wing media FAKE NEWS!

    Which one is worse? Which one is more evil?

  38. That's hilarious. I am in inland China and I have just sent the picture, which according to this video will be censured to my friends thru wechat and they got it. Plus, this video said people can go into jail for their speech, of course, people have the freedom to say what they want and they also have to bear responsibility for what they say. About the American dirty hand, who doesn't know which country has a reputation for meddling with So many countries domestic stuffs? Also the funny thing is, those protesters in Hong Kong want freedom, which FORCE them to use violence to beat the hell out of people who don't agree with what they agree, and the freedom they are chasing for has compelled them into vandalization. Isn't freedom also to respect other people's freedom? My sister-in-law was born and raised in Hong Kong and she said now she cannot even go to work because protesters have destroyed so many streets and blockade the public transportation. When democracy becomes an exclusive religion, it's not democracy any more.

  39. The truth is most things in the world are not so much black and white, there are violence from BOTH sides, and yes Chinese media has its own narrative, but the EXACT SAME can be said about the Western media, who happens to have the opposite narrative of China. The truth is usually somewhere in the grey, analyze evidence and facts from all sources and put together the picture for yourself.

  40. After all those rebellions, isn't it better that Hong Kong just becomes independent? People from Hong Kong do not have the same line of thought as the Chinese.

  41. This is an age of information war guys. Don't ever let the pursuit of truth be stopped. This is real war. A war to control your subconsciousness. As Eren Kruger said, "Anyone can be a god or a devil. All it takes is for someone to claim that to be the truth."

  42. The thing is, the US has the capability to bring about the same censorship as China. All the social networking companies operating in the USA can easily start doing the same things.

  43. Western medias Common trick,before the news start,they will say"since he is communist party member(don't trust anything he said)
    And "this is Chinese government founded channel" (all their news are fake)
    Now comes this,maybe someone should ask "how western people's mind were unconscious gradually shaped by their medias after they watched all the filtered news"😂how about that?

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