Opinion | YouTube has ruined itself into a political tool to exercise hegemonic power
By Edward Hei Leung, LegCo Member
YouTube, the Google-owned video streaming platform, has recently terminated the campaign account of Lee Ka-chiu, HK Chief Executive (CE) candidate, in order to comply with US sanctions. Strictly speaking, even though YouTube describes its moves as rule-abiding, the event only reveals western malicious intentions.
Back to the time when Lee Ka-chiu was the city's secretary for safety. US imposed sanction and blamed Hong Kong's top officials for their implementation of the National Security Law (NSL). Nevertheless, the US itself possesses a couple of security laws, including the National Security Act in 1947 that formulated the National Security Council, the Patriot Act in 2001 that enhanced surveillance procedures after September 11 attacks, Homeland Security Act in 2002 that established the Department of Homeland Security, to name but a few.
Remember that the UK court sent the extradition order on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the British government for approval on April 20th. For a long while, the US has criticized Assange for his perilous acts putting American assets at an increased security risk. Worse still, as John Demers, former head of the Justice Department's National Security Division said, he is not a journalist to American eyes. Assange is now faced with 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse. He could face up to 175 years in jail if he is convicted guilty in the US. In light of this, if the US can safeguard its own national security, why does it complain about Hong Kong's similar actions?
Besides unreasonable US sanctions, YouTube has repeatedly violated its core missions, no matter how plausible the argument is based on its terms of services. According to the mission, the video platform should give everyone a voice and show them the world, since the company believes that everyone deserves to have a voice, and that the world is a better place to listen, share and build communities via people's voices. In fact, YouTube nowadays does not only ban Lee's account, but also blocks Russian state-funded media worldwide. Put aside the political stands in Russia-Ukraine war. That is to say, whenever Sino-US relations deteriorate, it is always possible for YouTube to block Chinese counterparts as well. Perhaps the situation remains the same, who else know whether YouTube search engine is not a political tool in favor of US? Or even mute opposite voices?
Undoubtedly, the suspension of Lee's campaign channel raises massive concerns on YouTube, particularly when it is the first social media company banning Hong Kong's top official. Again, it reminds us the importance to enhance national security, since foreign interference can exist everywhere, sometimes in ways we seldom expect.
As Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin mentioned, the tech giant Google and its subsidiary company YouTube assist US administration to meddle in internal affairs of other countries. It unveils US double standards and hypocrisy that undermine freedom of speech, not to mention its evil intentions in destroying Hong Kong CE election. It does not take much to know that our CE election belongs to Hong Kong affairs. Any interference, on one hand, violates international law and basic norms governing international relations. On the other hand, true patriots are never afraid of unilateral sanctions. They will find alternatives to spread out their words. Again, it is an irreversible tide in which Hong Kong will be better than ever under the enactment of National Security, electoral reform, and more importantly the generous support of its motherland.
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