What Hong Kong’s protests look like from inside China

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. Chinese can't use YouTube.
    So Chinese give u a fake dislike. LOL🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️
    Everyone should have critical thinking.
    So don't make conclusion quickly.
    A comment from China

  2. PRC govt and its people just happens to have very different priorities from the rest of the world. While the west sees freedom of speech as a basic human right, china on the other hand values stability which makes it easier to further the strengthen the country. Maybe china would become more democratic in the future as the country gets more developed. Besides, some have a pretty different definition of 'human rights', if one simply has a comfortable life with basic necessities like food and home, that is human right, what's the point of giving people access to internet when they have to worry about their safety and livelihood? This is the case in some countries like libya and iraq. Overthrowing an opressive govt may not necessarily make the people's lives better. Democracy needs to be introduced in the right places and the right time for it to really benefit the people, it is not the absolute right way to govern every country out there. For china to maintain and further improve its position as a global superpower, a population that protests like hong kong would be the last thing they want. In Hong kong, despite the political freedom and lack of censorship, the living condition of the people might be arguably even worse than many people in china with the ridiculously expensive yet tiny apartments. This problem could be an indirect reason that motivated people to protest. But in the end of the day, i think that 'democracy ' is a vaguely defined term and its importance vary from person to person, country to country, and its presence may not be a direct indicator on the quality of living of the people.

  3. Chinese, whether in or outside China, are overwhelming against the HK riots. Even ppl who are unhappy with the CCP are mostly against the riots.

    You are seeking to deny that this sentiment can be legitimate.

    Prejudice against the Chinese ppl, not just the CCP, is very real. It is your narrative that’s fabricated.

    You are not so special. Lots of ppl think any expression of pro China sentiment is conclusive proof of “bots” and “brainwashing”.

    The “brainwashing” argument is extremely laughable though. By definition, a brainwashed person cannot know he/she is brainwashed.

    Also, an US style representative “democracy” is by no means scientifically superior to the other forms of government. It is good for the US because it worked in the US. The Chinese government is good because it has worked for the Chinese people in a whole.

    Ideological fanatics are no better than religious extremists.

    And the issue of HK is still beside the point. If they want universal suffrage , then it must be universal across China.

    HK is a city.

    If they are asking for full autonomy of regional government, then their demand is inherently unreasonable, even treasonous.

    And they are violent, and are prepared to disrupt other people.

    That’s why they are rioters.

  4. It is pretty crazy for a country to censor message in this way.
    And she one of the biggest and rising economy in the world.
    The world should be alerted how China treats their citizens

  5. China Hate American Freedom Of Speech Ban From China and Make Hong Kong to Suffer in the Hands of China Cyber Blocked ! Down ! Unreal

  6. This is totally not true! Please try to search it yourself on Baidu or Weibo and then you can comment here about this video… The video is mind manipulation

  7. The only country that could stop Communist China is USA. Mr. president Donald Trump please continue the TRADE WAR with Communist China until their economy collapse.

  8. Well there you have it, social media USED to instigate riots, protest and terrorism which happened in the US, the middle east and other countries with terror attacks. China is infact doing a good job blocking these contents as it will only cause INSTABILITY, which is what you journalists want so that you can earn more money by covering hardcore content?

  9. The Muslim world have jihad, the western world have Democraterrorism, China have harmony. Why? because we do not have CNN, BBC, YouTube and Twitter.

  10. White boys don’t twist the facts quartz is the extension of CIA
    We are expelling white rubbish out from China who are working as English teachers
    but they are spreading social diseases

  11. why do not you post the videos when protests beat journalist and burn the streets and subway station?
    You just want to fool people to anti China instead of telling the truth of HK

  12. Yeah. Feel really sorry about the censorship in China. It is not as bad as described in this video though. Just go to Baidu or Weibo and do a search.

  13. Do the western expect the mainland Chinese to support HK protests? For real? These protesters promote hate towards mainland Chinese. They even use the word “zhi na” for mainland Chinese, just imagine use “N” word on African people , that’s the same thing! And you expect the mainland Chinese to support this? Are you guys morons or what ?! Why don’t you go and ask the Jews do they support Nazi or ask the African Americans do they support the KKK? WTF!

  14. 15 weeks, $$$ in destruction and disturbances to business and society..
    Time for the police to bring guns to the riots and put an end to it. Start shooting anyone destroying property and throwing or using deadly items.
    The US police would have used deadly force after a few hours not waited 15 weeks and $$$ in destruction and damage to society

  15. Dirty hands just like this site, fake news from unethical press. Look at the press how they do live broadcast by pointing the cameras only on the police. Is that ethical reporting? Makes me wanna vomit the high hypocrisy . Totally blank out the rioters violent behavior which is totally unacceptable in the west or even tolerated.

  16. Media in many countries are doing the same, selectively reporting the truth to promote their own values and achieve their own benefits, and most people are passive receivers. So many people are actually not as free and justicial as they think.

  17. Funny,the words as 自由 民主 香港 反送中 are censored? Which world are you living in. You can find millions of comments related to these words on Weibo or Wechat.

    When I was young Chinese CCP media keeps telling us United states is a heaven where freedom of speech is absolute and quality of life is respected at all cost. Therefore at that time I was against CCP since there is so much censorship and little body autonomy in China. Ironically after I went abroad to US and Japan for 10 years I realized every country is the same and I am tired of US exporting so called revolution, poverty and chaos while intervening other countries internal affairs. Seeing US media attacking China with biased stereotype and double standard to maintain their superiority in the world, I realized CCP is legitimate to take every measures including censorship to maintain stability, and to protect us from US naive brain washing techniques in the name of ‘democracy’. Only Chinese ppl can distinguish whether CCP is justifiable or not, rather than you guys who have never been to China and just argue with your childish assumption and hypothesis.

  18. I was encouraged by a demonstration in Hong Kong. Hong Kong democracy is not perfect. Similarly, Japanese democracy is not perfect.

    There is a gap in the value of one vote in Japan. Three times the gap.

    The fight for democracy should be held not only in Hong Kong but around the world. Japanese people need to fight for democracy, like the people of Hong Kong.

    I am not telling Japanese people to fight for democracy in Hong Kong. However, I want the Japanese to fight for Japanese democracy.

    The Japanese government of the current Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is close to the Chinese Communist Party.

    The current Japanese government calls it the LDP, but it is not really democracy.

    This is because there is a difference in the value of one vote in a Japanese election. Japanese democracy is imperfect democracy.

    There is a gap of one vote in the Japanese election.

    Hong Kong people will hate such unfair elections. Me too.

    The current LDP government took power in an unfair election system.

    The Japanese government, the current LDP government, is not sympathetic to the people of Hong Kong.

    They are close to the Chinese Communist Party.

    However, many Japanese are sympathetic to Hong Kong people.

    Hong Kong's current secretary: Carrie Lam does not represent Hong Kong people.

    Similarly, the LDP government does not represent the Japanese.

    Because the LDP gained power in an unjust election.

    They used the gap to win the election. 3 times the gap.

    Hong Kong people do not support the next election system.

    With the support of 10,000 Communist Party members, one candidate is elected.

    Alternatively, one candidate can be elected with the support of 30,000 non-Communist Party members.

    The current Japanese election system is such an unfair election system. Therefore, Japanese need to fight for democracy like the people of Hong Kong.

    Unlike the current LDP government, the government that represents the Japanese will help Hong Kong people fight for democracy. 

    香港でのデモに励まされました。香港の民主主義は完璧ではありません。同様に、日本の民主主義は完全ではありません。

    日本では1票の価値にギャップがあります。3倍の格差です。

    民主主義のための戦いは、香港だけでなく世界中で行われるべきです。日本人は、香港の人々のように、民主主義のために戦う必要があります。

    私は日本人が香港で民主主義のために戦うように言っているのではありません。しかし、私は日本人に日本の民主主義のために戦ってもらいたい。

    現在の自由民主党(LDP)の日本政府は、中国共産党に近い。

    現在の日本政府は自民党と呼んでいますが、それは本当に民主主義ではありません。

    これは、日本の選挙では1票の価値に違いがあるためです。日本の民主主義は不完全な民主主義です。

    日本の選挙では1票のギャップがあります。

    香港の人々はそのような不当な選挙を嫌うでしょう。私も。

    現在の自民党政府は不公平な選挙制度で権力を握った。現在の自民党政府である日本政府は、香港の人々に同情的ではありません。

    彼らは中国共産党に近い。

    しかし、多くの日本人は香港の人々に同情的です。

    香港の現在の秘書:キャリー・ラムは香港の人々を代表していません。

    同様に、自民党政府は日本人を代表していません。

    なぜなら、自民党は不当な選挙で権力を得たからです。

    彼らは選挙に勝つためにギャップを使用しました。ギャップの3倍。

    香港の人々は次の選挙制度を支持していません。

    10,000人の共産党員の支援により、1人の候補者が選出されます。

    あるいは、30,000人の非共産党員の支持を得て、1人の候補者を選出することができます。

    現在の日本の選挙制度は、このような不公平な選挙制度です。したがって、日本人は香港の人々のような民主主義のために戦う必要があります。

    現在の自民党の政府と違って、日本人を代表する政府は、香港の人々が民主主義のために戦うのを助けるでしょう。

  19. China censorship brings peace though because ppl behave when there is a discipline system. Unlike US, alot of crimes and school shootings because too much freedom.

  20. Once these protesters moved from peaceful protests to vandalism and violence.
    They have lost. They lost the moral high ground and become no better than the Violence and authoritarian Government they are protesting about. They lost my support. These protesters need to be arrested and put in prison.
    All democracies have rule of law all of them. Peaceful protest is a lie. No excuse for violence, if you live by the sword you will die by the sword. China has a massive population it is trying to both pull everyone out of poverty, they are trying to unite the country.

  21. Actually, if every mainlander see what these violets have done, they will out of mind. Just like in XinJiang, people got the Uighurs killed Han Chinese, then Han Chinese will kill them back, the social will totally damaged and go far out control, this is exactly what western want to see.

  22. Dear Hong Kong– please come to America and establish New Hong Kong. We need you and want you- but are powerless there.

  23. When comments and posts about what's really going on were blocked and deleted by FB, Google, and Youtube, you realize the same thing is happening in U.S. only more invisible.

  24. US government does the same thing. Also Facebook and google. No difference. But let’s not support international colonism, or interference of China domestic affair when your own country are full of issues yourself. Focus on your own country

  25. sorry even we are outside of china we will never support Hongkong, what a bad city right now? they destroy their own city, who will support them? who will pay for it?

  26. Hongkong please stay with China. Do not beguile by other country. After separation they can attack you and a new international issue will came like peace, human right, border dispute etc. China is a powerful and large country and it has a great international influence. Without china you are unsafe. China can help you to achieve final human goal.

  27. No matter how strong the censor, but why their youngter didn't revolt? The secret is, the goverment smarty using movies to brain wash the peopl3, they youngter were illuminate in moneyyyyyy loveeeeeeeee and comfort😄, for few generation has live in poverty since 1950, I think might need another 50 year for Chinese mainland to wake up😏

  28. This western white trash has no clue what is going on. China is about safety first? What a joke. China is the #1 food experimenting country in the world killing babies and the poor.

  29. FIRST OF ALL, your title is misleading, I thought you will reveal the truth of what we see in china media. But nooooo……..you just had to keep pushing the propaganda.

  30. That is very sad that Instagram got taken away from all of the mainland Chinese people and they are told lies like Americans wanting to meddle in their affairs. When I went there to Shanghai I still had Instagram app on my work phone but you couldn't log on from the computers there

  31. All those people protesting can just rush a group of police and dog pile on top of them rendering them useless. Power in numbers.

  32. But u also, and the western media create alternative universe, that bcoz u don't include of what they truly claim for, yes there are peaceful protest, but whenever there is peaceful protest, there's also violence protest that seemingly on the loose of becoming true rioters, they vandalized many things, and guess what, u hardly see that on any western media, unless the media that criticized their own government, but even them very rare get a real footage of how these violent protests do, when u see it, it's like they not just back up by the peaceful one but also seem like it was intentionally done to make the cops go mad or to make anything goes down with them

  33. I've seen all your videos in China by local internet.
    As for what you can't see at all, do you have any interest?

    For example, smashing the subway, burning petrol bombs, smashing civilian cars, and mobs looking for minors to commit violence?

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

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

  37. not buying it 1st there is VPN, its cheap and free
    2nd i look at TikTok china, there is plenty reporting on HK regarding the riots.
    3rd my in law just came visit us in US, and they know about it too.
    i think mainly because the protest become too violent, so showing violent protest to chinese public actually benefit their agenda. If it was peaceful and protester weaving HK/Chinese flag, then it will generated more sympathy from mainland, but now mainlander are calling them traitors and rioters. furthermore there are millions chinese oversea, saw the news, and most are against HK.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

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

  42. 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

  43. 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

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. ,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

  49. 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.

  50. 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?

  51. 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.

  52. 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

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