Emotional footnote to porn hyperlink and student press scandal stories

2007-05-12 - oiwan

First I should thank Roland for translating the few war declaration paragraphs that I wrote at inmediahk.net yesterday:

The recent storm aroused by the Chinese University of Hong Kong student newspaper's erotic section is just the tip of the iceberg. Political censorsihp has been manipulating public opinion in seemingly apolitical sectors. Previously, we saw during the consultation over digital media copyrights how the state machinery used "protection of copyrights" to attempt to introduce a system to filter and delete contents, or else intimidate personal or small websites through fines.

Another gap through which political censorship can be introduced is pornography. This gap gathers the power of the state as well as the forces of religious people and fake moral politicians. So far, they have focused on gender and gay rights groups, but we must extend our battlelines in light of the court decision two days ago: the police filed charges against a netizen for posting hyperlinks to pornographic websites at a certain forum and the court arrived at a guilty verdict with a fine of HK$5,000. This is a very significant precedent for censorship.

It should be pointed out that the mainstream media is playing the moral market that is ultimate digging its own grave, because the theoretical argument will ultimately eliminate their own space for speech.

To express my protest, I will place a hyperlink to an overseas pornographic hyperlink.

There are no pop-up warnings here. You can sue me personally. I ask all netizens and bloggers to have similar hyperlinks. When the time comes, we will get together to hire the lawyers.

I was really angry when I read the news about the police's success in prosecuting a middle-aged lower class man for posting a few pron hyperlinks in an adult BBS forum with COIAO (Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance).

1. It is selective prosecution targeting at lower class people who have low social image and don't have the power to fight back.

Since the B.T case, the police have been doing that. They study the profile of potential defendants one by one, taking out middle-class, well educated people. Actually, the majority users of internet are students and middle class, however, the police always choose middle-aged lower class men with a stereotype image of "vuglar, obscene, etc." as they are the least likely to win public sympathy. In order to get away from trouble, usually they choose to admit the crime with a small fine. Then the police can set up a sample case for future prosecution.

2. The tactics is to terrorize individuals.

As many have pointed out, why don't the police prosecute the search engine, like yahoo.hk, whose server is in Hong Kong, and its image search of words like "nipples", "bestiality", results in hunderds of prons photos. The whole point is to terrorize individuals, like in the case of B.T (the police claimed that their first case of B.T uploading of copyright material last year had succeed in crushing B.T uploading activities). In fact, many secondary school students have given up using B.T all together!

Yesterday, a friend of mine, who is active in the Star ferry and Queen's pier preservation campaign, was found guilty in criminal destruction because she used a paper cutter to cut a construction rag that covered up the site. The judge made the statement that "the defendant disregard law and did not use peaceful and admirable means to protest." Believe me, she is a very peaceful and admirable person, a single mother and a dancer.

3. Stupidity of the Hong Kong government

The case is too ridculous, it is obvious that the police and the judiciary have no sense of the nature of "hyperlink". The content of the address can be changed, how can they prosecute the person who give the address rather than producing the content? Not to mention that the hyperlink is at an adult section of a BBS. Just imagine that our society is ruled by such a group of people who lack basic common sense.

4. Fake moralists

In China, we have government hiring internet polices to do censorship, in Hong Kong, we have a group of fake moralists, who get high and erected when finding out "obscene" local programme, newspapers, magazine, etc., as the process of prosecution fulfill their thirst in eliminating the "devil" that make them lose control. However, their fixation is in fact in the devil itself.

Another kind of fake moralists is the Chinese University Administration. It gives up its integrity as an academic institute and joins hand with the mainstream media and conservative church in disciplining the students. Instead of treating their students as critical, independent person who are capable of making their own judgement, they insult their own students as idiots who would be harmed by a set of questionaire about sexual behaviour and fantasy. It is obvious that all they care about is empty public image rather than university's value.

All these years, the university is talking about internationalization by shifting teaching language from cantonese to putonghua and english, but they have forgotten about its mission and critical tradition!

These are the emotions behind the war declaration.

I have written another post at globalvoices with more background information about the hyperlink case and the Chinese university student press' erotic section.

First photo from flickr joerror Second from inmediahk.net