YouTube Removes The Protest Song “Glory To Hong Kong” Following Court Ruling

( — YouTube on Wednesday blocked Hong Kong users from accessing videos featuring the protest song “Glory to Hong Kong” after a court granted an injunction banning the song in the Chinese city.

The video platform agreed to comply with the injunction blocking the song, which became the anthem of the 2019 anti-government protests after it was deemed as “prohibited” under the court ruling.

Attempts to access the more than 32 YouTube videos featuring “Glory to Hong Kong” came up as unavailable in the city and showed an accompanying notice that the content was “not available on this country domain due to a court order.”

When the court approved the government’s request to ban the anthem, it agreed that “Glory to Hong Kong” could be “weaponized” into inciting secession.

YouTube said in a statement that it was disappointed in the court’s ruling but that it would comply with the order to prevent access for Hong Kong users.

The platform added that it was considering its options to appeal the ruling “to promote access to information.”

YouTube echoed the concerns of human rights groups that argued that the injunction would have a chilling effect on online free expression.

The injunction will also prevent links to any of the videos from appearing in Google search results for Hong Kong users.

George Chen of the Washington-based policy consulting business Asia Group said the actions by the government could undermine investor confidence and harm Hong Kong’s reputation as a leading financial center.

Chen suggested that the Hong Kong government should be wary of “unintended consequences” that may result from such bans.

The anthem was often sung by protesters during the massive demonstrations that began in 2019. Authorities even arrested residents who publicly played the song under offenses like playing a musical instrument without a permit.

The anthem was later inadvertently played as Hong Kong’s anthem at some international sporting events instead of the Chinese anthem “March of the Volunteers,” angering city officials.

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