ZDNet: Google removes WhatsGap from app store. “Search engine giant Google has removed popular Hong Kong pro-democracy mapping app WhatsGap from its app store. WhatsGap is an app used to identify retailers that are in support of Hong Kong’s democracy. Google told ZDNet the removal of WhatsGap was sparked by ‘sensitive content’ that was being published on the app.”
BBC: Hong Kong and mainland China gamers clash on GTA V. “The Hong Kong protests are being played out on Grand Theft Auto (GTA) V online. Players in Hong Kong realised they could dress up as protesters after a new update for the game was released earlier this month. They spread the word on LIHKG – which has been called the Hong Kong version of social news site Reddit – and started organising violent expeditions.”
Abacus News: Doxxing of Hong Kong children spurs new Facebook policies. “Social media giant Facebook introduced a new policy to protect minors after children of Hong Kong police officers became victims of doxxing attacks during the city’s ongoing anti-government protests, its content manager revealed on Wednesday. Under the policy that was implemented worldwide in September, Facebook removes content designed to identify children and create risks to their safety.”
The Nation: The Hong Kongers Building a Case Against the Police . “Those on Hong Kong social media—especially on Twitter and some channels on Telegram, the secure messaging app preferred by the protesters—have made a concerted effort to document and publicize police brutality. #HongKongPoliceBrutality and #HongKongPoliceTerrorism are just two of the hashtags Hong Kongers use on Twitter as they recirculate videos and graphics contextualizing the violence. These netizen-protesters see themselves as being on the front lines of the information war over Hong Kong, coordinating a PR campaign to raise awareness—and get the international attention that they see as crucial to their movement’s success.” This was a great story, but The Nation had an pop-in ad for its mailing list that was really intrusive. I could only get rid of it by reloading the page.
Slate: Is Hong Kong the Battleground for a New Cyber Cold War?. ” In Hong Kong, where Beijing’s political sovereignty does not come with direct control over the internet or local police, Beijing is reluctant to active the most draconian option: deployment of the People’s Liberation Army to keep order in Hong Kong’s streets. While this could be done lawfully, it would be catastrophic—for global investor confidence, the regime’s credibility, and the assets of party elites and state-backed firms that rely on Hong Kong’s financial institutions. Instead, Beijing is exploring other options.”
South China Morning Post: Older Hongkongers taking to online apps and social media for latest updates on protests, and some may join rallies too . “Retired schoolteacher Bill Lau, 66, first learned about the messaging app Telegram and online forum LIHKG – platforms popular with protesters – from his friends and younger daughter respectively. Curious, he downloaded Telegram and started checking out LIHKG links from his daughter, and now spends at least half an hour on them each day.”
Deutsche Welle: Hong Kong protesters personal data leaked by Russian website. “A website registered on a Russian domain has shared detailed personal information of dozens of Hong Kong protesters and journalists. Observers view it as another serious blow to the city’s dwindling civil liberties.”