Hong Kong chief flags ‘pretend information’ legal guidelines as worries over media freedom develop

Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam stated on Tuesday the federal government was engaged on “pretend information” laws to deal with “misinformation, hatred and lies,” as worries develop over media freedoms within the international monetary hub.

Beneath Beijing’s instructions, Hong Kong has taken a swift authoritarian flip following the imposition of a sweeping nationwide safety regulation in 2020, with a recent drive for “patriotism” spilling into most elements of life within the metropolis.

A serious overhaul of public broadcaster RTHK, led by a newly appointed bureaucrat with no media expertise, is extensively seen as a sign that authorities pink traces will quickly encircle journalism as they produce other sectors, reminiscent of schooling.

Talking at her weekly information convention, Lam stated the federal government was researching “pretend information”, however added she had no timetable for the laws.

“The pretend information regulation wants loads of analysis, particularly (on) how abroad governments are tackling this more and more worrying pattern of spreading inaccurate info, misinformation, hatred and lies on the social media,” she stated.

“We’ll proceed to be very critical about this concern due to the harm it’s doing to many individuals.”

Hong Kong Chief Govt Carrie Lam speaks at a ceremony marking the Nationwide Safety Training Day in Hong Kong, China April 15, 2021. REUTERS/Lam Yik

Her feedback come a day after RTHK reported the broadcaster wouldn’t renew the contract of its journalist Nabela Qoser, identified for her robust questioning of Lam and different officers throughout mass 2019 anti-government protests.

RTHK has additionally begun eradicating a few of its archives from its Youtube and social media channels, prompting on-line activists to again up a few of the content material on blockchain platforms.

One other RTHK journalist, Bao Choy, was discovered responsible by a courtroom final month of improperly accessing public information for a documentary on the police dealing with of a mob assault on pro-democracy protesters, reporters and bystanders in 2019.

Her documentary received an area press award the day earlier than the decision, which RTHK didn’t settle for.

The July 2019 assault in northern Yuen Lengthy district, when greater than 100 males in white T-shirts hit individuals with sticks and poles at a practice station, sparked widespread criticism of the police together with allegations of collusion with triad gangsters, which police deny. learn extra

Courts have but to convict any of the attackers.

Reporters With out Borders ranks Hong Kong eightieth out of 180 by way of press freedom, in freefall over the previous decade.

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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