Hong Kong protests: Facebook and Twitter block accounts with Chinese propaganda
China is said to have tried to "sow political quarrels" with the help of hundreds of accounts in Hong Kong. Facebook and Twitter are taking consequences.
Facebook and Twitter have reportedly acted against users who should discredit the demonstrations in Hong Kong with government support from China. It concerns 936 accounts over which coordinated "political controversy in Hong Kong should be sown". In addition, another 200,000 accounts were blocked as a precaution, it was said by Twitter.
Facebook announced that, according to Twitter, five accounts, seven pages and three groups have been removed. At least one of the sites had about 15,500 subscribers. On the blocked accounts were, according to Facebook and Twitter, among others, contributions in which the demonstrators were portrayed in Hong Kong as violent.
Twitter announced that it will no longer accept advertisements from state media. With the advertising products of Twitter contributions can also be included in the newsfeed of users who do not follow the advertiser. Taxpayer-funded media such as independent public broadcasters are exempted from the ban, Twitter wrote in a blog post.
Comments on Facebook and Twitter were not available from either the Chinese Embassy in the US or the US Department of State.
Worry about China's military intervention
The pro-government protests in Hong Kong have been going on for weeks. Following initial protests against a suspected extradition law to China, the demonstrations are now directed against Hong Kong's pro-Chinese government and its leader, Carrie Lam. In recent days, there has also been criticism of the police crackdown on demonstrators in Hong Kong. Videos showed clashes with police using batons and large amounts of tear gas to push protesters back.
The Chinese government itself recently threatened demonstrators, linked them to terrorism and sent troops to the border. Internationally, concerns about military intervention, such as the 1989 crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing, are growing.