back to article Hong Kong's state-sponsored SEO on national anthem strikes the right note

Hong Kong's efforts to improve the accuracy of Google search results for its national anthem have yielded some affirmative results, according to an official from the Special Administrative Region of China. "It should be said that colleagues from the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) have done a lot of …

  1. PhilipN Silver badge

    "Google" and "corporate responsibility" in the same sentence

    [shaking head in disbelief]

    1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

      It's like raaaaaa-iiiiii-aaaain....

      > "Google" and "corporate responsibility" in the same sentence

      Looks like you just used "Google" and "corporate responsibility" in the same sentence! ;-)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a great achievement!

    Here in NZ we also have a national anthem that is a little naff.

    Perhaps we too could just change it in Google, without the $35M we spent on a flag referendum.

    1. Rikki Tikki Bronze badge

      Many national anthems are a little naff - with the possible exception of using Ludwig van B for the EU anthem (Oh bliss, bliss and heaven... Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh... )

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        I dunno...the Canadian national anthem is actually quite nice (although my high school French fails me when it comes to the Francophone version).

        P.S. I am not Canadian, but I still like the tune.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Having it in a language you don't understand is a huge improvement.

          Canada is halfway there.

    2. cyberdemon Silver badge

      A great achievement, you say.. But from the article, I am struggling to see what was achieved or by whom.

      > Google has denied requests to expunge info about "Glory to Hong Kong" and rank China's national anthem as the top response to queries for Hong Kong's national ditty, on grounds that its search results are based on fully automated algorithms. Google maintains it only removes content considered illegal.

      Did Google go back on this? It's not stated in the article.

      I find this whole thing rather creepy. They have changed the "official truth" and are expecting Google, as the arbiter of truth, to report their version and suppress "unofficial" versions of the answer to the question "what is the national anthem of hong kong?" As Google say, their algorithm is supposed to be neutral, and every time they bow to pressure like this it shows that Google can no longer be considered a source of truth, because it can be bought.

      You cannot force a people to forget their national anthem and sing the national anthem of what they consider to be a different country.. Not unless you kill the adults who won't sing your song, and send the children to re-education camps. i.e. Putin's tactic in south-eastern Ukraine, for which he is charged with Crimes against Humanity.

      1. Allan George Dyer

        You may well struggle, about the only achievement I can see is the Streisand Effect success of the HK Government bringing this to wider attention. This started last November when Glory to Hong Kong was played at the South Korea’s Rugby Sevens, possibly entirely accidentally. The Government and pro-Beijing politicians went ballistic, but mistakes at sporting events kept happening. The sporting teams are being threatened with disbandment if there are further errors. Have sympathy for them. In the latest incident, it appears that the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association followed the instructions and sent the link provided by the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China but that led to a Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau webpage on National Anthem which only led to the anthem when browsed in Chinese, unfortunately, the Hungarian organisers used the English version of the page and were unable to find the anthem. Perhaps the HK Olympic committee and government departments should be a bit more international in their thinking, or, at least, web-site testing?

        However, this isn't a creepy change of "official truth". Hong Kong is not a Nation, so it doesn't have a National Anthem; since 1997, the March of the Volunteers has been played at official events, and that has not been controversial. There have also been various anthems adopted by the people to represent their city and identity unofficially. Glory to Hong Kong is simply the latest of these.

        What is creepy is that the government often says HK is, or it wants HK to be, a financial, arts, technology, innovation Hub, but discourages any behaviour that might make it stand out from the Mainland.

  3. Esoteric Eric

    We all need to look to America

    To tell us who to hate next

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: We all need to look to America

      Oh, I don't think you need their help.

  4. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    I've got a better one...

  5. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Tell us you don't understand the concept "search engine" without saying you don't understand the concept "search engine".

    If 99.999% of info online says "Glory to HK" is the HK National Anthem, then yes, that will be the top result for searches for the HK national anthem.

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