HK authorities discuss with Google on misleading anthem search results

HK authorities discuss with Google on misleading anthem search results

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Hong Kong authorities have urged Google to place the correct information of the city’s national anthem as a top search result on its sites, after the anthem blunders occurred at multiple rugby tournaments.  This comes after the anthem blunder occurred on 13 November when “Glory to Hong Kong”, a song related to the protests back in 2019, was played instead of the correct national anthem at a rugby match in South Korea.

A week after, World Rugby organisers  apologised to the Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) for mislabelling the Chinese national anthem twice as a song related to the protests in the city back in 2019. A check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE saw the song “Glory to Hong Kong” was shown as the top result for the keywords “Hong Kong national anthem”.

google glory to hk 2

According to a press statement, the Innovation, Technology and Industry Bureau said its secretary Sun Dong was discussing with Google and YouTube about the matter last Monday.

"Glory to Hong Kong" is closely related to the anti-government demonstrations back in 2019. However, when searching for keywords related to "Hong Kong" and "National Anthem" on internet search engines, the song appeared in the front position of some search results, so from last week, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) has been in close communication with Google's Hong Kong branch on the situation, the statement read.

The statement also said that Sun Dong had clearly pointed out to Google during the meeting that some search results displayed incorrect online information, which would not only easily provide excuses for the behaviour of some people with ulterior motives, but also mislead local and overseas netizens.

“It has caused serious damage to Hong Kong and China, so the service provider is required to follow up the situation seriously and deal with the problem as soon as possible. Hong Kong government will continue to pay attention to the situation,” the statement added.

On the other hand, chief secretary Eric Chan Kwok Ki said on 25 November that the government would seek help from tech giants to ensure search engine results are displaying the correct national anthem at the top, as he discovered songs related to Hong Kong independence would appear for keywords such as “Hong Kong” and “national anthem”, said a report by SCMP.

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