HomeWorldGoogle rejected Hong Kong request for protest anthem: Hong Kong official

Google rejected Hong Kong request for protest anthem: Hong Kong official

By Darerca Siu and Jessie Pang

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Google has refused to change its search results to show China’s national anthem, instead of a protest song, when users search for Hong Kong’s national anthem, the security chief at the city ​​on Monday, expressing his “great regret” over the decision.

Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The dispute comes after Hong Kong police said they would investigate the performance of “Glory to Hong Kong”, the unofficial anthem of Hong Kong’s 2019 pro-democracy protests, in the men’s final of a tournament. rugby sevens game in South Korea in November.

“Glory to Hong Kong” was written in 2019, just as Hong Kong protests against China’s tighter control of the city erupted, with many protesters in the former British colony calling it their national anthem.

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The song was banned in 2020 after China imposed a sweeping national security law on the financial hub to punish what Beijing defines as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.

The Asia Rugby Association blamed “simple human error” for playing a song downloaded from the internet instead of the correct anthem. The top Google search term for the Hong Kong anthem is “Glory to Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong’s security secretary Chris Tang said a request for Google to replace the protest anthem with China’s national anthem as the main search term was rejected, as Google said such results were generated by an algorithm. without human intervention.

“We reached out to Google to request that they put the correct national anthem at the top of their search results, but unfortunately Google refused.”

“We feel very sorry and this has hurt the feelings of the Hong Kong people,” Tang added.

(Reporting by Darerca Siu and Jessie Pang; Writing by James Pomfret; Editing by Mark Potter)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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