China's Hong Kong Protester-Targeting 'See Something, Say Something' Hotline Is A Big Success

from the local-tiktok-officials:-oh-um-noooo-i-guess dept

The protesters in Hong Kong have a point: the Chinese government is supposed to stay the fuck out of managing Hong Kong's day-to-day governance for 50 years after its securing of this profitable market sector from the British in 1997. We all love to see colonialism dismantled, but when the recipient is China, caution should be deployed. The Chinese government agreed to not turn Hong Kong into China 1.5 for fifty years.

The clock runs out in 2047 but the Chinese government isn't interested in letting the good faith agreement remain in place. It has directly targeted pro-democracy protesters and government critics in Hong Kong, leveraging its "national security" law to create life sentences for people who rightfully think the Chinese government should back off for at least another seven years.

Throw enough oppression at people and you'll unearth the percentage of the public that would rather lick boot than support their fellow Hong Kong residents. "See something, say something" works everywhere, even in a free market paradise like Hong Kong. As the BBC reports, the snitch hotline set up by Hong Kong's subservient quote/enquote "public servants" has proven popular with those attempting to ingratiate themselves to their new overlords.

Hong Kong's new hotline to report breaches of the controversial national security law has received more than 1,000 calls within hours of going live.

Residents can anonymously send in images, audio and videos if they suspect someone has violated the law.

The law, introduced earlier this year, criminalises secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces.

It has already led to several arrests of activists, and has silenced protesters.

The maximum punishment under the law is life in prison.

It has gotten no less popular as time goes on. A report by the Guardian says it's as least twice as popular as the BBC's early report indicates.

A police spokesman told the Guardian that by Friday morning the force had received more than 2,500 pieces of information. The hotline can accept audio, videos, photographs and texts, and contributors will remain anonymous and receive no replies once they have submitted their tips, police said.

And, while it seems like the protesters have the upper hand and represent a majority of Hong Kong residents, there is, of course, a ton of insults and latent threats to be found on local social media.

The police post on Facebook had more than 700 comments on Thursday afternoon, with some welcoming and others condemning the initiative.

“Great! Now the cockroaches have nowhere to run,” wrote one user, using a pejorative term for democracy supporters.

A certain percentage of the public will always welcome the cool touch of a jackboot to the neck. We see them here in the United States -- citizens waving the Gadsden and Thin Blue Line flags with maximum cognitive dissonance. In this eventual Chinese holding, citizens are already ingratiating themselves with a foreign power that isn't supposed to take control for another seven years.

In China, the threat isn't existential. It's real. Overseas companies helping the government shut down dissent is making things worse.

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Filed Under: china, hong kong, see something say something, snitch, snitchline, surveillance


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  • icon
    Cdaragorn (profile), 9 Nov 2020 @ 11:32am

    7 years?

    7 more years would still be 20 years short of the 50 years that was promised. So why are they supposed to take control in only 7 more years?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Nov 2020 @ 11:56am

    'I for one welcome our new chinese overlords.'

    “Great! Now the cockroaches have nowhere to run,” wrote one user, using a pejorative term for democracy supporters.

    Ah yes, how dare people object to being under a brutal dictatorship, they should just bend over like proper citizens and get used to saying 'Please sir, may I have some more?'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Nov 2020 @ 12:36am

      Re: 'I for one welcome our new chinese overlords.'

      "Ah yes, how dare people object to being under a brutal dictatorship, they should just bend over like proper citizens and get used to saying 'Please sir, may I have some more?'"

      Well, to be fair, China can point to the US and tell their citizens "Is this what you want? Behold Democracy!" and show them a picture of Trump along with the US statistics on food insecurity, crime, poverty, and education.
      It's hard to tell them democracy is a valid option when the example used is that one nation among the G20 which looks like a third world overmilitarized shit-pit.

      The main problem with China's brutal dictatorship is that unlike the old Soviet model it's one which aims to provide actual benefits to most of it's citizens and maintains it's state sovereignty that way. China is what Steve Jobs would have designed if he'd been asked to build a locked-in dictatorship catering to almost every user while depriving them of any control.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 9 Nov 2020 @ 1:34pm

    I love hotlines...

    How can I get this hotline? There are lots of articles ABOUT the hotline, but not with a number. Here's an example: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-54835955

    I'd love to turn in my neighbors. They're not in Hong Kong, but the homeowners' association has done some movidos. Also this one guy painted his house in "non-desert colors". These need to be immediately brought up to the Chinese Communist Party. That's two calls right there. The neighbor's kid took my Lotus and went way faster than 25 -- in a NEIGHBORHOOD. Three calls.

    Also a neighbor put up signs espousing support for an orange clown. The CC&Rs say NO SIGNS. So [yeah, I know political signs are allowed in the US, but not in Hong Kong!!!] I'll turn them in too. Four calls.

    If I add in all the stuff my girlfriend said about Trump after Biden won... man that should give the CCP lots of things to worry about. All from different CLIDs, of course.

    What was that hotline number again?

    E

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeroen Hellingman (profile), 9 Nov 2020 @ 11:57pm

    Talking about ending colonialism, we need to remember that China is actually a colonial empire, having forcefully occupied Tibet, East Turkestan, and parts of Mongolia, and abusing those colonies by ruthless mining operations and thus causing environmental disasters, as well as sending huge number of colonists to some of those areas, basically turning the original inhabitants into a minority in their own homelands (and don't get me started about the destruction of cultural heritage). The CCP's rhetoric routs against imperialistic oppression have become highly cynical now that China itself has become an imperialist oppressor, which is now also trying to annex most of the South China sea, extends its ugly tentacles to many countries in Africa, and poses a more serious threat to Taiwan than it has in many decades.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Nov 2020 @ 12:44am

      Re:

      All that you say is true.

      And yet it doesn't matter much when China has managed to keep the vast majority of its citizenry well fed, with access to education, jobs, entrepreneurial opportunity and entertainment. By the numbers China is a more happy place than the US by far, dictatorship or not.

      All you need to do is to not pay attention to the 5% or so of that nation for which China isn't a very good experience at all.

      For liberalism and democracy to emerge as a viable alternative you need to point to an example where that model actually works, providing prosperity and happiness to as many people as possible. This was easy when the two options to compare were the US and the USSR - but that balance skews the other way when comparing the US of today with the China of today.

      The EU is better off than the US in this regard by far, but in general we westerners are going to have to get our shit together in major ways if we are to sell our way of life as the preferable choice to the chinese.

      It's pretty telling that where the USSR had to clamp down on any news from outside so their citizenry wouldn't get envious and upset China filters very little of american news - because they could ask for no better anti-western propaganda than what US media keeps pumping out on its own.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2020 @ 6:43am

    who you callin' "you people"

    It's almost as if Hong Kong doesn't know...that they're a Chinese city.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Nov 2020 @ 8:30am

      Re: who you callin' "you people"

      "It's almost as if Hong Kong doesn't know...that they're a Chinese city."

      To be fair the last 6 generations or so Hong Kong residents grew up "knowing" they were a part of the british commonwealth. It should have been obvious to everyone there that the very second HK was handed back to China, the "two systems, one nation" agreement would last all the way until the very second someone actually tried to make use of a HK right which conflicted with Chinese law.

      At least this was pretty obvious to all the international observers and you'd think that some kindly brit might have had the moral courage to inform the people of HK that they could kiss any semblance of democracy bye-bye and the time to get out of Dodge was right then and there.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ehud Gavron (profile), 10 Nov 2020 @ 10:41am

        Re: Re: who you callin' "you people"

        "It's almost as if the US doesn't know...that they're a dictator culture."

        To be fair the last 6 generations or so US residents grew up "knowing" they were a part of a republic, not a democracy. It should have been obvious to everyone there that the very second someone like DJT was elected the dictatorship would start, and the "two party, one nation" concept would last all the way until the very second someone actually tried to make use of a democratic right of a mironity which conflicted with dictator rule.

        At least this was pretty obvious to all the international observers and you'd think that some kind soul might have had the moral courage to inform the people of the US that they could kiss any semblance of democracy bye-bye and the time to get out of Dodge was right then and there.

        TFTFY

        E

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2020 @ 11:59am

          Re: Re: Re: who you callin' "you people"

          I just pray that it doesn't turn into another Tiananmen Square.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Nov 2020 @ 1:59am

          Re: Re: Re: who you callin' "you people"

          ""It's almost as if the US doesn't know...that they're a dictator culture.""

          That "fix" would be funnier if it weren't so damn true.

          With the possible amendment that Trump in himself is a symptom, not the cause. The cause being those 1 in 3 americans who are either perfectly happy with a narcissistic sociopath riding the coattails of xenophobia, scapegoating, and white supremacy - or too incurably dumb to even realize that's an issue as long as it means they get to vote red.

          And those still remain, because even if Trump is gone the GOP remains with the full backing of those 1 in 3.

          Meanwhile the "Forces Of Truth And Justice" are already saying "OK, Trump is gone, let's all be friends again. Just don't talk about how brown people are all rapist scum where we can hear it, kay?". Nothing will change, half of what Trump broke might get patched or shoddily fixed, and come 2024 they'll be out in force again, rooting for someone who isn't quite as obvious and clumsy as Trump is.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 11 Nov 2020 @ 12:23am

    Burner Phones

    When the authorities in the US do this sort of thing, the common response is for myriads to send in butt pictures, middle finger pictures, rude messages, and some insults. See, for instance, the recent ``snitch'' line sponsored by NY mayor De Blasio.

    In Hong King, people should probably use ``burner'' phones because otherwise the jack-booted thugs from Red China will be all over them. True, some authorities here in the States conduct such investigations also, but the risk here is that the investigations back-fire. In Red China, there is no such risk because anyone critical of the thugs is quickly the next target for a free trip to a re-education camp.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Nov 2020 @ 2:30am

      Re: Burner Phones

      "In Red China, there is no such risk because anyone critical of the thugs is quickly the next target for a free trip to a re-education camp."

      That, and the dissident usually stands alone. To most chinese the current state of affairs is pretty good. China is only not a land of opportunity if you happen to not be ethnic Han and fail to make all the right noises.

      The DDR had to have a massive STASI to keep their dissidents in check because everyone was so miserable no one was truly motivated to assist the government in catching the guy saying what everyone thought. China is in a different situation there because the dissident is usually surrounded by prosperous neighbors well satisfied with the status quo who are afraid of anyone trying to rock the boat and challenging the state.

      If you think being "un-american" in the US could be considered a social stigma, just take a look at what a pariah someone becomes being "un-chinese".
      Funnily the same applies to Taiwan which is why both countries keep clinging to the notion of "We're the REAL China" even when that hollow notion brings nothing but an excessive risk of war.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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