Last Updated on August 26, 2019
Mark Zuckerberg’s Business deals now include a deal between Facebook and China’s larges state-run news agency to paint a negative light on the pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong.
The protesters wish to maintain a democracy in Hong Kong as it currently operates under a “one country, two systems arrangement” that allows Hong Kong to operate under democratic laws until 2047.
The demonstration amassed an estimated 1.7 million people, or roughly a quarter of the population of Hong Kong.
These numbers reflect the number of people who would live long enough to lose the freedoms that are provided by a democracy. The elderly have been among the most vocal to oppose these protests.
The most violence on the ground can be attributed to the local police force in Hong Kong. Their use of “nonlethal” rounds at point blank range resulted in a woman losing her eye. The police are also reported to regularly fire tear gas into the crowds of non-violent protestors. These protests that are quickly approaching the three month marker were instigated by a bill that allows Beijing to extradite alleged criminals from Hong Kong.
This presents a problem for pro democracy leaders in Asia who use Hong Kong as a “haven for political dissidents.”
“Xinhua News currently has five different Facebook ads that directly relate to the unrest in Hong Kong, and all of the ads started running on Sunday, August 18. One of the Facebook ads addresses Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi directly, calling on her to “fly to Hong Kong to see what the true facts are.”
Pelosi has been critical of the Chinese government’s suppression of the demonstrators and called Beijing’s actions “cowardly,” as reported by Gizmodo.
The extradition bill has since been nullified by Carrie Lan, the Chief Executive in Hong Kong. This unfortunately has not brought an end to the protests. The demonstrators openly distrust the government, and assume that Lam or someone else in their government will either reintroduce the bill at a later date or continue there practice regardless.
Online in America, Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg) has been promoting China’s government owned news propaganda in an open attempt towards influencing how the rest of the world feels about the demonstrators. Their goal is to make the world see these pro-democracy demonstrations as dangerous, right wing, white supremacist and anarchist.
Zucerkberg refused to respond to Gizmodo’s inquiry concerning profits he had amassed due to these ads.
Social media sets the tone for main stream medias conversations. We have seen this practice grow immensely in the past few years to the point that the White House has now hosted a “Social Media Summit” this past July.
By promoting an inaccurate depiction of the protest online, Facebook is succeeding in shifting the western understanding of these complicated issues deeper into disarray.