Facebook ignores calls for censorship from Hong Kong Police

Hong Kong Police aren't happy about how they're being portrayed on social media.


These days, many official bodies are asking Facebook to censor on their behalf. While it's often from the European Union or the Democrat wing of Congress, this week it's the Hong Kong Police's turn.

Hong Kong police have asked Facebook to delete posts that contain what they suggest are defamatory accusations about the force's handling of pro-liberty protesters.

But Facebook has no plans to censor on behalf of the Hong Police and has ignored two requests demanding that it stifle speech on the platform, according to letters obtained by Reclaim The Net.

The police have also asked Facebook to hand over information about the posters so that police can investigate. Facebook has also ignored this request. 

One of the posts that the police requested Facebook censor, was a post by opposition lawmaker Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, of the Civic Party. Yeung says he had simply relayed on Facebook what television and media had reported about the shooting of a student at the hands of the police. 

In a letter to Facebook, dated October 9, Police complained about posts published in September, including one that alleged that police officers had harassed a female protester during a car search in Tung Chung.

Another post accused the police of “killing Hong Kong people” in a social media campaign suggesting internet users file complaints with the White House in the United States about what they called “police brutality” in the region. 

The force also demanded that a post saying “live shot fired to kill citizen” be removed, saying that the author was trying to “make up facts”.

In the letters, police tell Facebook: “As a global social media platform, Facebook has the responsibility to ensure that contents dispatched by its users are factual and in the public interest.”

“We strongly demand the Hong Kong office of Facebook remove such content and hand over relevant information to police for further investigation,” the October 24 letter read.


Cindy Harper

Cindy Harper is a tech news staff writer based in Maryland, USA. After getting her start in local journalism, Cindy now reports mostly on social media stories for Reclaim. [email protected]