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Hong Kong Porn Sites Shut Down to Encourage More People to Join the Protests

One site urged users to attend the “life or death” protests instead of “jerking off at home”.

by Gavin Butler
18 June 2019, 2:13am

Image via Reuters

Things are heating up in Hong Kong. Over the past two weeks, a swelling tide of protesters has flooded the streets to demand that a contentious extradition bill—one which would allow China to extradite people from Hong Kong to the mainland—be retracted. In the past week alone, as many as two million people are thought to have gotten behind the movement. And an initiative taken by a handful of porn sites might have played at least some small part in bolstering the numbers.

Adult sites AV01 and ThisAV shut down temporarily last week in a bid to encourage users to get out and join the uprising, Quartz reports. Both sites stopped offering videos and published expletive-laden messages aimed at fuelling the fire and getting more people onside—with ThisAV urging users to attend the “life or death” protests instead of “jerking off at home”.

“Do you want to live the rest of your life looking over your shoulder?” read the message on AV01’s landing page. “There will be no more safe place or security. The government has failed you, the system has failed you, the society has failed you, do you want to fail yourself?”

In the time since the porn sites went down, the number of people protesting in the streets has grown to what may well be the largest demonstration in Hong Kong's history—though that's not to say that there's any direct correlation between the two. More than 100 local business have also shut up shop and encouraged their employees to take part.

The mounting pressure of the mass protests reached such an intensity that Chief Executive Carrie Lam issued a public apology over the weekend for her handling of the extradition bill, suspending it indefinitely. Protesters are now seeking to oust Lam from office.

As VICE News reported last night: “the size and scale of the protests are a reminder to Chinese President Xi Jinping that his authoritarian control on power does not yet extend to Hong Kong, which has repeatedly shown its willingness to stand up to Beijing’s efforts to erode the territory’s independence.”

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This article originally appeared on VICE ASIA.

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