Individuals, as nicely, have taken to self-censorship. Many have taken down posts, eliminated “likes” for some pro-democracy pages and even deleted accounts on platforms like Twitter, in keeping with activists. Fears that WhatsApp would hand over information additionally drove folks to change to downloading a rival encrypted chat app, Signal. WhatsApp, although, had no latest information requests from Hong Kong police, in keeping with an individual aware of the matter.
People in Hong Kong have additionally rapidly embraced the sorts of coded on-line speech that flourish in China, the place web police and censors patrol the online. One slogan, which the authorities have stated may very well be unlawful, was modified from “liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time” to “shopping in Hong Kong, Times Square,” a reference to an area shopping center.
In different circumstances, posters abbreviated the slogan primarily based on Cantonese phonetics, writing merely “GFHG, SDGM.” The unofficial anthem of the protests, “Glory to Hong Kong,” has had its lyrics transformed into numbers that sound roughly just like the lyrics. “05 432 680, 04 640 0242,” goes the opening.
Companies, in the meantime, have the choice of shifting information away from Hong Kong. Lento Yip, chairman of the Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association, stated he observed extra companies relocating servers out of the town in June, although he wasn’t sure about their motivations.
“From a business aspect, some websites or content providers might just move to other places. It doesn’t cost much and it’s pretty easy,” he stated.
For firms like Amazon and Google, which have massive information facilities in Hong Kong, such a transfer could be neither low cost nor simple. And their different choices are equally difficult. Moving all workers out of the town would insulate corporations from arrests, nevertheless it might not be possible.