Most people like to think there are such things as truths, evidence and facts. But some key opinion leaders (KOLs) who have large online followings and are allied with the opposition, have helped spread fake news and rumours by casting doubts on official or police reports. Most have to do with outlandish allegations of rape and murder committed by police against protesters.
KOLs such as Stephen Shiu Yeuk-yuen, Li Wei-ling and Ng Chi-sum are all seasoned media professionals. Unlike younger and less educated radicals, they are not so foolish as to claim directly that police have killed and raped. Instead, they pick out partial leads and titbits, enough to raise doubts in people’s minds and misdirect them.
The latest? An alleged murder that never was; and a supposed sexual assault that never happened. The naked body of a 15-year-old girl was found off Tseung Kwan O shores. Protesters quickly concluded, as they do with practically every body found that was not immediately identified, that she was the victim of a police murder.
The girl committed suicide after she took off her clothes. But our KOLs went into overdrive, finding holes in every statement police made. Now, though, the girl’s mother has said unequivocally on TVB News that her daughter suffered from a mental illness and killed herself. The mother spoke out because her family had been mercilessly harassed and their personal details exposed online. She asked protesters to leave them alone.