Talk:2019–20 Hong Kong protests

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Deliberate omission of context in the lead sectionEdit

The bill was originally introduced in order to extradite a fugitive murderer from Hong Kong to Taiwan. This is a fact.[1]

The 18-year-old student protester was shot only after striking a police officer with a metal rod. This is a fact.[2]

The protesters have assaulted civilians. This is a fact.[3][4][5]

The protesters have burned someone alive. This is a fact.[6]

The protesters were "besieged" because they set fire to the university campuses and threw petrol bombs at police. This is a fact.[7]

All of these facts are supported by reliable sources that I have repeatedly attempted to place onto the article's lead. Every one of my attempts has been reverted for spurious reasons. This article censors information about the protesters' violence and portrays the police's responses completely out of context, and the editors curating it have made sure of that. This article, as written, is a joke and indistinguishable from propaganda. There couldn't be an article more deserving of the POV tag than this one.

Tookabreather (talk) 12:42, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

I agree. Those are verifiable and notable facts, and omission skews it per WP:NPOV due to a focus on certain specifics but not the whole. I've noticed, especially, that the 2nd fact has repeatedly been obfuscated by a specific user, but it should be included that it happened and not just "attempted" as cited by reliable sources. --Cold Season (talk) 13:14, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
saying "The protesters have burned someone alive" tends to imply the man was killed. It's more appropriate to say he was "set on fire".
I also agree that the article is skewed, and that any mention of the term "riot" or "rioting" have been swiftly purged (except when mentioning "riot police"), even when these are in the context of specific incidents and backed by reliable sources such as the BBC. The images also tend to focus on police violence, and we have yet to see any images of protesters throwing Molotov cocktails. -- Ohc ¡digame! 13:22, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
The "metal rod" part is disputed. Counter-protesters have assaulted protesters is a fact, and the people protesters have assaulted are not always "civilians" is also a fact, thus mentioning one side only while sacrificing key context is WP:UNDUE. People burnt alive is a fact but people's ears being bitten off or someone's eyes being blinded by rubber bullets or protesters being shot by fireworks are also facts, then why the burning incident should take precedence over other equally ridiculous incidents? It is ok to mention protesters throwing petrol bombs or committing property damages as general characteristics but I oppose listing independent incidents. And we need to admit is that the (alleged) police brutality is a key driving factor for the protests, so it is difficult to downplay police responses. It is rare for RS to use the term "riot" (other than reporting the government/police viewpoint) when they were describing the protests or the protesters, while when you search things like "Indonesian riots" or "Chilean riots", you actually get many results. OceanHok (talk) 14:01, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Two wrongs don't make one right. Police violence is mentioned over and over again, with examples and linked to the protesters' responses. All the police major incidents against protesters and journalists are mentioned in the article, and it does not serve the cause to be in denial that protesters have shown a high degree of violence too. A man was set alight during a dispute (with someone wearing black?). It may be an isolated instance, but the e ntire protests are a string of isolated incidents, and I see little justification for excluding or downplaying protester violence against police and other civilians. The reason why the attempt at immolation should be given greater prominence is because of the severity of the violence: It is attempted murder by any benchmark. All the prior instances of protester violence were against inanimate targets whereas this was an attempt on a person, and caused severe burns to the victim. Equally not mentioned is the incident where a police officer in plain clothes was the target of a petrol bomb after he allegedly drove his car into a crowd of protesters. Although Molotov cocktails have become a weapon of choice, and protesters throw them in the tens if not hundreds on a daily basis, their use is mentioned in the artice as if they were all isolated occurences. -- Ohc ¡digame! 15:35, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I am not suggesting to downplay protesters' violence, but to give counter-protesters WP:DUE weight when they have commit actions equally bad. If we are going to mention people burning, then why are we not mentioning protesters being knife attacked? With both sides using extreme violence against each other then why only the protesters were singled out as the "violent" groups while counter-protesters were relegated as the peaceful "civilians"? The fact is that they have been assaulting each other, and no one is better than another. I don't oppose adding the Yuen Long plainclothed officer catching fire or other instances that caught RS attention (like the liaison guy being shot with an arrow) in the radical protesters (or maybe the history) section, but using petrol bombs with the intention to murder is not the general characteristic of the protests thus it was not appropriate for the lead. That's why I am only ok with "people are attacking each other" but not "protesters are assulting civilians". OceanHok (talk) 16:24, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I can understand that you don't want to split with the other in the movement, but Wikipedia is not a soapbox, nor is it a forum for advocacy. I don't see how intent or motivation should come in when it comes to petol bombs. These are among the most destructive home-made weapons used by rioters and terrorists. They have been used by HK protesters like they eat instant noodles since peaceful protests failed, probably even before the 10-1 storming of legco (I haven't been keeping track), and are certainly a hallmark of protest violence if not of rioting in a general sense of the definition, although why the term "rioting" hasnt been used more frequently is because it suits the Western (anti-China) narrative. It's inescapable that thousands of petrol bombs were found in CU and PolyU, even though they were never used. As to due weight, how do you propose to keep a "balance"? How about mentioning one petrol bomb for every teargas canister? How about one rubber bullet injury for every victim nearly killed by protesters? What I'm trying to demonstrate is that the transactional approach to balance is entirely arbitrary. But by not mentioning it, downplaying it, the article fundamentally violates WP:NPOV. -- Ohc ¡digame! 16:54, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
  • The dictionary definition of "Rioting", or here in WP is a state of behaviour that makes no distinction between causing injury or damege to people or inanimate targets, so the fact that protesters have only been targeting police and other symbols of the PRC doesn't make the actions any less "riotous" despite the lack of use of the word by reliable sources. -- Ohc ¡digame! 17:11, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I will repeat again. I am not suggesting to downplay the violence from the protesters, but to give due weight to the violence from counter-protesters which is equally malicious. Sentences like "Rifts within the society widened as protesters began to assault civilians." (Tookabreather's wordings) obviously is WP:NPOV and Rifts within the society widened as actvists from both sides have assaulted each other (my version) can cover both violent incidents from both sides without digging deep into each of the incident. I mean, unless you want something like Protesters was shot by attackers with fireworks. The protesters became violent and assaulted Celina Ma. Some taxi driver rammed into the protesters and broke someone's legs to show his opposition. But the people beat the taxi driver. To retaliate, pro-Beijing supporters bite off Andrew Chiu's ears. Not happy with that, the protesters set a man on fire. Frustrated, pro-Beijing decided to knife attack a peaceful protester near Lennon Wall, but then the protesters are going to beat this guy with a drain pipe. I mean, this chain of garbage theoretically adheres to WP:NPOV as well. OceanHok (talk) 18:27, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
If you are talking about the WP:NPOV in the other sections, I have added more about petrol bombs in the radical protester's section if this is what you guys want. I don't oppose adding violence of the protesters to the article as long as it is done with WP:NEUTRAL and WP:CONCISE wordings and given due weight. I would draw the line of WP:NPOV at summarizing similar behaviors with just one sentence while singling out the ridiculous ones (People being set on fire/someone shot with fireworks/Pressing people's face against the ground) or if it involves notable people. If incidents cannot be grouped (e.g. Prince Edward station incident, police van ramming into crowds, Yuen Long inaction), then it would stay on its own. If you are talking about why the history has more mentions of tear gas then petrol bombs, that's probably because people are complaining about the article's length and then we trimmed it to just "clashes" and "confrontations" (which is not a bad change I may add, detail weaponry used is mentioned in the subpages). Regardless of whether RS is biased or not, using "riot" because we think the situation fits the dictionary definition is WP:OR. OceanHok (talk) 19:35, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
  • It's only OR if there are no sources to support the assertion, but there are. I attempted to add two very precise an limited instances, supported by sources, but they disappeared soon enough probably because there's a severe allergy within the movement to the "R word" . Anyway, I do not believe that WP:CONCISE and WP:SUMMARY are sufficient to warrant removal of important detail as to the violent nature of the conflict or signature actions of either police or protesters. -- Ohc ¡digame! 21:16, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Due weight needs to be given to the counter-protesters/ pro-Beijing mobs and their "equally signature" actions in WP:LEAD, but then that would turn the lead into a chaotic mess where we are going to list out all the heinous actions from both sides without restraints because many things are "signature" on its own. The lead, as it stands, has suggested that both sides are violent with "As the protests dragged on, confrontations escalated as both sides became increasingly violent." The problem is we should not single out one side of the protests when another side has been equally as bad. You only say "both are violent", but not "protesters are violent" without mentioning the other sides. OceanHok (talk) 05:13, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
  • There is clearly an extreme pro-protest POV in this article, which censors protester violence.--Jack Upland (talk) 22:13, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
There are also extreme anti-protest POV pushers in this talk page, which avoid discussing police violence while trying their best to smear protesters instead. (talk) 03:57, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
  • With a topic as complex and controversial, it's inevitable. Usually, when it's one's own edits, they are objective, and when it's the opposing viewpoint, it's considered "POV pushing".   -- Ohc ¡digame! 12:56, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
  • In my opinion it is unfair to say the article is an 'extreme pro-protest' as the article does reference protester violence and even a man killed by protesters and their is a section about violent groups. I admit it more than like has a pro-protest POV as so editors including me are sympathetic to the protests (apart from the violence) RealFakeKim (talk) 16:40, 11 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree with RealFakeKim's opinion. Another problem is that Chinese government's counteractions not fully methioned. (But it is hard to clearly write Chinese view, since they are believing alternative version of the whole protests.) Mariogoods (talk) 22:52, 11 December 2019 (UTC)
I think the article has improved. However, I think it has a pro-protest POV. I don't think there's any point in writing an unrealistic article. And I think all editors should agree on that.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:03, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I believe it is briefly mentioned in the reactions but I agree writing the Chinese view is hard dew to the censorship — Preceding unsigned comment added by RealFakeKim (talkcontribs) 16:57, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Too long. So don't inserted comment above. It is not a metal rod, it is a plastic rod. Also for the context, it was filmed that the police pulled a gun and approach the rod-welded protester. So it is accused that the police is the side that proactively attack the protester, which the protester is using the rod as self-defense. The version by the police's press relase is a complete COI lie. Yes you can call the "fact" is "dispute" as it is the interpretation of the media on the filmed material. Matthew hk (talk) 02:17, 15 December 2019 (UTC)

I've added the following to the lede: an 18-year-old student protester was shot whilst attempting to hit a police officer with a rod and Hardcore protesters conducted vigilante attacks against perceived opponents,[8][9] including supposed pro-Beijing entities being vandalized,[10] and a man set on fire after arguing with protesters.[11][12] Meanwhile, I disagree with other proposed additions by Tookabreather. starship.paint (talk) 13:52, 18 December 2019 (UTC)

  • For Fact 1, while the murder of Poon Hiu-wing indeed sparked the bill, I don't see the main objective of the protests being to support the murderer and prevent his extradition. Rather, protesters seem to be afraid of situations like the Causeway Bay Books disappearances. I don't see the murder being relevant enough to be included in the first paragraph.
  • For Fact 2, the type of rod is disputed [13] and can be left out.
  • For Fact 3, "assaulting civilians" in itself needs context, which I have added in the text above. For the taxi driver incident (which I did not include), Tookabreather's quote was truncated in a one-sided manner: A WeChat video of a brutal protesters' assault on a taxi driver, shared by his mother and her friends, did not reveal that the taxi had driven into a demonstration moments before, seriously injuring a young woman.
  • For Fact 5, Tookabreather's description (The protesters were "besieged" because they set fire to the university campuses and threw petrol bombs at police. does not match the source provided [7] which says that (1) the fires to the entrance of the university were already set when the siege of the heavily fortified campus entered its second day, and (2) the petrol bombs were thrown during the previous night of the siege. starship.paint (talk) 13:52, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
I still disagree with the wording. Can we simply have "Rifts within the society widened as activists from both sides have assaulted each other." to summarize all the physical assaults that have happened? The additions do not include the attacks launched by counter-protesters. The weight is still WP:UNDUE, while what we have here is a fairly neutral sentence that criticises both sides adequately already. I am fine with mentioning vandalism and arson because they are (mostly) protester-specific characteristics, but beating people up is not. Why single out the burning incident and why should it take precedence over other equally heinous acts? OceanHok (talk) 04:38, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
On the points argued above, and the state of Old revision of the article right now, I have no issues with the wording. Thanks to all for your edits and discussion. Regards, -- Ohc ¡digame! 14:01, 19 December 2019 (UTC)

- I have removed the orange tag. Ohconfucius and Jack Upland have stated that the article is improved. While I don't think anyone got everything they wanted, there has been some attempt at a middle ground. Meanwhile, on 16 December, an uninvolved editor Bagumba commented that If I had to close that thread now as an admin, it looks like a no consensus. Wouldn't "no consensus" on an NPOV issue mean that it really is generally neutral already?. May I thus suggest that if anyone feels strongly about the inclusion of further items, such as the murder of Poon Hiu-wing, or the man set on fire - to open an RfC with specific proposed sentences, as discussion here has run its course - it's been 14 days already. Thanks. starship.paint (talk) 15:47, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

As per the requested NPOV assessments in this thread, I've amended to elaborate "and a man who died after being struck in the head by a brick, during a confrontation between pro Beijing protesters and pro democratic protesters in Sheung Shui." to "and an elderly man who died after being struck in the head by a brick thrown by a protester during a clash between anti government protesters and local residents that were "trying to clear a roadblock" in Sheung Shui."

HKPF briefings as cited have listed the assessed perpetrator and local articles included those already cited note the nature of the confronted party the protesters clashed with. Further improvements to the sentence structure could allow for a note that the man was a bystander during the confrontation. Citing of the HKPF as the source of the classified COD is also possible. Sleath56 (talk) 23:05, 5 January 2020 (UTC)

It's not a fact that the universities were besieged after protesters threw petrol bombs at the police. If the police weren't there in the first place, how could anyone throw anything at them? Prof. HL Chow FRAS (talk) 16:52, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

  • No matter what your views are on the way police have and are handling the protests, blaming them for being at a demonstration is unfair as there has been clashes between counter protesters and violence/vandalism from the protesters. RealFakeKimT 16:50, 18 January 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ Hong Kong man wanted in Taiwan murder case ‘could escape extradition’ after pleading guilty to money laundering charges. South China Morning Post. 12 April 2019.
  2. ^ Hong Kong student protester shot by police charged with assault. NBC News. 3 October 2019. "The officer fired as the teen struck him with a metal rod on China's National Day."
  3. ^ Hong Kong protests: Fed up with violence, some supporters are turning away. CNN. 27 October 2019. "...a mob of protesters at Hong Kong airport surrounded a man they claimed was an undercover police officer. They bound his wrists, lashed out at him after he appeared to lose consciousness, and shouted down those who pleaded to get him medical attention."
  4. ^ Hong Kong families left broken and divided after months of violent protests. The Daily Telegraph. 16 October 2019. "...A WeChat video of a brutal protesters' assault on a taxi driver..."
  5. ^ Hong Kong man hit over head with drain cover while clearing protesters’ barricades in Mong Kok. South China Morning Post. 1 December 2019.
  6. ^ Man set on fire after row with hardcore Hong Kong protesters. The Times. 12 November 2019. "...the city entered a dangerous new spiral of violence yesterday, with pro-democracy activists setting fire to an apparent government supporter..."
  7. ^ a b Hong Kong protesters set fire to entrance of fortified university to hold back police. CNN. 18 November 2019.
  8. ^ Yu, Elaine; May, Tiffany; Ives, Mike (7 October 2019). "Hong Kong's Hard-Core Protesters Take Justice into Their Own Hands". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 7 October 2019. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  9. ^ Sum, Kok-Lei (18 September 2019). "From vandalising MTR stations to setting off petrol bombs, now Hong Kong protesters are going for fist fights or 'si liu' to settle scores with rival groups". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  10. ^ Smith, Nicola; Law, Zoe (8 October 2019). "Vigilante violence prompts fears of widening polarisation in Hong Kong". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  11. ^ Victor, Daniel (18 November 2019). "Why Are People Protesting in Hong Kong?". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 December 2019. On several occasions, protesters have doled out vigilante justice, beating people who were perceived to be against their movement, including one man who was doused with fluid and set on fire.
  12. ^ "Hong Kong stares into the abyss amid growing violence". The Economist. 21 November 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019. Vigilante violence has flourished. [...] protesters have vandalised (or, in protest slang, “renovated”) state banks, Hong Kong’s biggest bookseller (which is owned by the Liaison Office) and restaurants with sympathies assumed to lie with the Communist Party ... People fear being attacked simply on the basis of being Mandarin-speaking mainland Chinese ... a bystander confronting protesters was doused with something flammable and set on fire (he survived).
  13. ^ "Fresh Hong Kong rallies as police call teenager shooting 'lawful'". Al Jazeera. 2 October 2019. Retrieved 18 December 2019. Video footage of the incident showed the officer firing directly at the protesters after a group attacked another officer in riot gear with rods at a demonstration in Kowloon. It is unclear whether the rods were made of plastic or metal.

RFC for 2019–20 Hong Kong protestsEdit

It has been debated whether or not the following information should be included within article 2019–20 Hong Kong protests:

  1. The bill was originally introduced in order to extradite a fugitive murderer from Hong Kong to Taiwan.
  2. The 18-year-old student protester was shot only after striking a police officer with a metal rod.
  3. The protesters have assaulted civilians.
  4. The protesters have burned someone alive.
  5. The protesters were besieged because they set fire to the university campuses and threw petrol bombs at police.

--Jax 0677 (talk) 05:45, 6 January 2020 (UTC)



  • Comment - Someone at WP:ANFRC refused to formally close the above discussion without an RFC. I have revised the RFC per request. --Jax 0677 (talk) 06:26, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
      Comment: Noting for the record that I declined the request for closure of the above discussion, because it did not advance a specific proposal, and there is not enough context to form a closing statement. This RfC would probably be more effective if each of the five bullet points were in a separate section (example) and accompanied with suggested phrasing. — Newslinger talk 06:49, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment That is something can't handled by RfC. Each bullet point would led to long debate on the "fact" and timeline based on news coverage. Matthew hk (talk) 06:41, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment 1, 2, 3 and 4 are covered in the artical and for 5 the artical says that they through petrol bombs but dosen't directly say that's why they were besieged. RealFakeKimT 17:16, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment We should have more Wikipedians to check these statement and the source supporting the claim, since any important content suggesting protesters and counter-protesters' fault could be used as evidence to attack each other outside the Wikipedia. Mariogoods (talk) 02:46, 15 January 2020 (UTC)


I would like raise the question whether it is appropriate to have the recent replacement of the Chinese Liaison Officer for Hong Kong being listed as a "Concession given", without violating WP:NPOV. My own view on this is not clear-cut. Discussing this question could help in similar cases that may arise in the future, where actions of the HK or mainland goverment may likewise not be very clearly linked to the protests. CRau080 (talk) 18:26, 4 January 2020 (UTC)

  • Haven't heard the news, but if true, it's not even a remote demand of the protest, but seems to be an attempt to get a handle of the situation within the CPC hierarchy outside of the limelight. -- Ohc ¡digame! 18:43, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I don’t think it is relevant as it doesn’t fall under the 5 demands of the protests RealFakeKimT 11:20, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I think it is relevant to the protests as it signals the change of CPC's strategy, though it is too early to say that it is a concession.--Sir Jorah Moment (talk) 13:49, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
In view of the unclear motivation, which may actually be not a "concession" at all as per the opinion voiced in[1], I have removed the replacement of Liaison Officer from the "Concessions given" box. CRau080 (talk) 00:24, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

Death toll/ number of death and other numbers in the info boxEdit

The number of death is not yet undetermined, however, the notation of solid number of 2 is way less presentable. It gives an impression that the movement is small-in-scale if compared to the social events in the other nation. I suggest that a meaning of ambiguity should be given to the number, say "2(event continuing)", "2(as of xx January 2020)" or "2(indeterminate)" to give a more accurate info and not misleading reader of that the event is already closed or the number is actually referencing to a reputable source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:10, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

  • Support: It would give more information that would be useful to the reader as the protests haven't finished but Oppose: it may indicate to some readers that there have been more deaths or that people have covered up deaths RealFakeKimT 11:36, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
    • Changed opinion as in the date section it say ongoing so a reader shouldn't be misslead RealFakeKimT 16:48, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment: Agree with @RealFakeKim that the unintended tone of the conspiratorial would make stating such a caveat counterproductive. Sleath56 (talk) 06:01, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose: As per RealFakeKim's counterpoint. This is an ongoing event anyway, it is expected that the death count may change as long as the event has yet to end. robertsky (talk) 06:05, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support: Someone please put back the suicides !!!!!! They were directly related to the protests Dr. Universe (talk) 10:13, 7 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment This is not a WP:RfC. Wikipedia did not use voting system to form consensus. Also, it is big no-no for offsite (onsite) canvassing. Matthew hk (talk) 12:10, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

I have a related question that is not a response to this: Are suicides typically not included in deaths? There have been people who killed themselves clearly as a result of the protests.Prof. HL Chow FRAS (talk) 16:55, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

I will still maintain my view that the first 4 suicides should count in the death toll. Marco Leung, in particular, suicide to protest. OceanHok (talk) 17:09, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree that it should at least mention them in the section but say the number is disputed RealFakeKimT 16:08, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
This has been established in the RFC. --Cold Season (talk) 18:21, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
@Clh hilary:, wikipedia, an encyclopedia, is a tertiary source. There is no reliable source or between newspapers they had conflicted numbers of the actual number of death and cuicides, as well as wiki editors had argued that different newspapers did or did not contributed some suicides' root cause is the protests. Thus, by the RfC, we don't have a solution on how to report the death number. Matthew hk (talk) 19:29, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment Came back after a short wiki-break to this hilarious aspersion which reminded me about this. While I do not work for China, I would still say the death toll should only be added once the events have ceased, but that's personal opinion and if it is to be overruled by consensus then that's absolutely fair. -Yeetcetera @me bro 16:34, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
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