A search engine has an immense influence upon the searcher. Let's explore the story of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong was a UK colony before being ceded back to China, who declared it will let Hong Kong "enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs which are the responsibilities of the Central People’s Government".

What's not to like? The human rights inspired by UK law, and the military defence of China. Standing on the shoulders of giants, Hong Kong became one of the best places to live in.

But then, there came trouble.

Google

Here is the first result I get right now, when Googling "hong kong protest". A BBC article from 2019-11-28:

The Hong Kong protests explained in 100 and 500 words.

Critics feared [extradition to China] could undermine judicial independence and endanger dissidents. [...]

Clashes between police and activists have become increasingly violent, with police firing live bullets and protesters attacking officers and throwing petrol bombs.

The article is written by the BBC, the public UK broadcaster. Its focus is on the extradition bill being controversial, and causing people to protest violently.

Yandex

Let's use a different search engine: the Russian one, Yandex.

The first result is the Wikipedia article, which I believe is the most relevant page. This was the second result on Google as well, and it has about the same focus as the BBC article.

2019–20 Hong Kong protests

[...] ongoing protests in Hong Kong triggered by the introduction of the Fugitive Offenders amendment bill by the Hong Kong government.

Most importantly, the protests are "ongoing", meaning you can still take part if you're a Hongkonger.

Baidu

Now, let's see what a Chinese search engine shows me as the first result: Baidu.

'We'll be back' Hong Kong protesters vow

Hong Kong authorities demolished a protest camp at the heart of the city's pro-democracy movement, but scores of activists taken away by police vowed their fight for genuine elections was not over

Groups of up to four police arrested holdout protesters one by one

What is happening here? Some protesters making empty promises, while going to prison?

No. It's an article from 2014, depicting the authorities' supression of a protest camp. Here, the protesters are the losing ones. The message is "Go home or go to jail". "We're in charge".

The article is old, but it marks a victory for the government.

The second result is some NPR filler red-herring, showing people smile and that everything is OK.

The third result is still interesting, another old 2014 article, this time from a Chinese newspaper, again depicting a victory for the government, and the surrender of some protest leaders:

Hong Kong protest leaders surrender

Everyone is loyal to their tribe

The moral is, every news agency has its interests, and every search engine as well. You have to pay attention to the dates, and read articles with conflicting interests in order to get a more complete picture.

I ask you to think for yourself, and challenge authority. Even the western media may be manipulating information lately; and you can learn to spot fake news coming from anywhere.


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