Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday the government was working on “fake news” legislation to tackle “disinformation, hate and lies” as concerns grow over media freedoms in the country. the world’s financial center.
Under Beijing’s leadership, Hong Kong took a rapid authoritarian turn following the imposition of a sweeping national security law in 2020, with a new impetus of “patriotism” pervading most aspects of life across the country. the city.
A major overhaul of public broadcaster RTHK, led by a newly appointed bureaucrat with no media experience, is widely seen as a signal that government red lines will soon encircle journalism as they have other sectors, such as education.
Speaking at her weekly press conference, Lam said the government was looking for “fake news,” but added that she did not have a timeline for the legislation.
“The fake news law requires a lot of research, especially (on) how foreign governments are tackling this increasingly disturbing trend of spreading inaccurate information, disinformation, hate and lies about social networks, ”she said.
“We will continue to be very serious about this issue because of the damage it causes to many people. “
His comments come a day after RTHK announced that the broadcaster would not renew the contract of its journalist Nabela Qoser, known for her difficult questioning of Lam and other officials during mass anti-government protests in 2019.
RTHK has also started removing some of its archives from its Youtube and social media channels, prompting online activists to save some of the content on blockchain platforms.
Another RTHK journalist, Bao Choy, was found guilty in court last month of improperly accessing the public archives of a documentary on the police handling of a mob attack on protesters, journalists and pro-democracy passers-by in 2019.
His documentary won an award from the local press the day before the verdict, which RTHK did not accept.
The July 2019 attack in northern Yuen Long District, when more than 100 men in white T-shirts hit people with sticks and sticks at a train station, drew widespread criticism from the police, including allegations of collusion with triad gangsters, which police deny. Read more
The courts have yet to convict any of the attackers.
Reporters Without Borders ranks Hong Kong 80th out of 180 in terms of press freedom, which has plummeted over the past decade.
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