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Because China // be water

Hong Kong is showing the world how to protest anonymously in an era of mass surveillance

Nikhil Sonnad
Isabelle Niu
Member exclusive by Nikhil Sonnad & Isabelle Niu in Hong Kong and Barcelona, Spain

This story is part of an ongoing series on how China is reshaping our world.

It’s harder than ever to be anonymous. Modern life is lived on the internet, and the internet is increasingly centralized in the hands of national governments and a few prominent tech companies.

All that has made it more difficult to express dissent, online and off. Protesters facing threats of arrest or doxxing can no longer rely on mainstream platforms. Facebook requires users to register with their real names. On WeChat, users must provide a phone number, which is tied to their government ID. Police or political adversaries can collate public posts from places like Twitter and Reddit to identify otherwise anonymous users.

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