Hong Kong (1/10). Social media reported that an Indonesian worker was arrested by Hong Kong Police after participating in a demonstration on Tuesday (Oct 1). The Fake News story reported the worker participated to join the demonstration. The story is a Fake News story typical for the digital trolls operating in Hong Kong. Misinformation, disinformation and a structured fake news campaign is plaguing the besieged administration.
Officials are concerned about the attempt to incite hate between the citizens and resident in Hong Kong is going beyond the democratic disagreement. Senior officials discussing to apply the Crimes Ordinance section 9 & 10 against individuals spreading fake news and aim to create hatred and ill-will among the citizens in Hong Kong.
“We have good laws and we intend to use it against anyone who spreading fake news”, said an official in government house. “The Hong Kong police display for restraint is missed in the story if we take the recent Extinction Rebellion, the Paris riots or the Jakarta unrest into consideration. Remarkable professionalism on display”, he added.
This is rejected by the protesters who sworn to fight on under all costs, Tony Chow, a student with the University of Hong Kong added. “We think the violence is justified” he added trying to explain away the Black Bloc/Black Shirt demonstrators “cleansing” actions of the past weekend. “Cleansing” is a term used by the Greek terror group Nuclei of Fire and the Black Bloc and EarthFirst! activists who burned down power cables in Hambach, Germany.
The Fake News image was traced to a few accounts of two individuals circulated on Twitter. It is unclear at this junction if the accounts are located in Hong Kong or on the mainland, however the timing and rapid surfacing of the attempt to spread fake news coincided with the shooting of the Indonesian former “green” reporter who was within the ranks of the protesters and the unrest in Jakarta.
Ivan, an Indonesian migrant worker (PMI) who has lived for almost 20 years in Hong Kong, said she got the news about the arrest from Facebook and her Whatsapp group. The 39-year-old woman from Surabaya, East Java, didn’t know for sure it’s the truth or just the fake news, but she believed that none of her colleagues will act that stupidly. The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia (KJRI) of Hong Kong appealed to the Indonesian foreign workers association to remain calm and not being incited to join the protests. Indonesian government officials in Jakarta hope the Hong Kong administrations passes legislation to fight fake news by passing improved laws.
Police sources refused to comment on on-going investigations but taken the fake news and its actors and networks were serious. “We [the Hong Kong Police] taking the incitement of hate very serious”, she said.
The KJRI Hong Kong has issued a statement regarding the alleged arrest of Indonesian citizens in the pro-democracy demonstration. The KJRI had received reports of information circulating on social media in the form of photographs showing the arrest of an Indonesian citizen / PMI.
In accordance with applicable procedures, the Consulate General always receives written notification from the Hong Kong Police if any Indonesian citizen is detained for any reason. Until now the KJRI has not received information from the Hong Kong Police regarding the detention of Indonesian citizens for being involved in illegal assembly demonstrations or other related criminal acts.
An unnamed senior Hong Kong police officer said the criminal ordinance is very clear on the subject of hatred, contempt to excite disaffection against administration in Hong Kong. In particularly section 9 & 10 covers the hate speech, distribution, or promotion of inciting persons to violence, is considered being applied against individuals who were identified by Hong Kong police operations.
Senior Government official warn the incitement of ill-willed enmity between different classes and minority of population in Hong Kong will be harshly enforced. Government sources are currently investigating the perpetrator of fake news.
Social media companies are the platform how for spreading fake news. The claim of not being responsible is on thin ice with many in government. A backlash for not stopping fake news on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms should come to no surprise taken the level of hate speech is on the rise. Reports emerged within government circles suggesting foreigners spreading hate against the Hong Kong Police were reported by citizens. The police is investigating.