HK lawmakers call for social network curbs to stop inciting riots

By Chen Qingqing and Fan Lingzhi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/15 22:08:40

A Hong Kong protester throws a tear gas grenade at police. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Outspoken Hong Kong lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu on Tuesday urged the authorities to block LIHKG, a major social network platform used by rioters to incite violence and spread false information.

In an open letter to Chief executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam, which Ho also sent to the Global Times, he noted that barring platforms including LIHKG and Telegram can help stop violence as the platforms are popular among rioters.

LIHKG has gradually become a platform for rioters to communicate and share strategies of committing violent acts. Rioters have openly discussed ways on how to make Molotov cocktails, also known as a petrol bombs, to attack police officers via the platform, Ho said. 

Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan, a pro-establishment lawmaker, also urged the authorities to introduce more regulations to ban comments inciting violence.

Radicals on the platforms usually share information about discipline services quarters and ask other radicals to join them to vandalize the facilities. Radicals also refer to police officers as dogs, a common way of insulting frontline police.  

During the illegal assemblies, LIHKG has also become a popular platform to "recruit" more "fighters" to confront police officers.

According Ho's open letter, the rioters' acts on the platforms violate laws and regulations.

Banning the platforms should be the next step to quell months of anti-government violence and chaos in Hong Kong after the law banning face masks at illegal public assemblies took effect on October 5, Ho noted in the letter. 

"The source of violence must be cracked down on first!" Ho stressed. "Only by using all necessary means in accordance with the law can Hong Kong restore order and stability."


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