Law and Enforcement

NATSEC CARTOON IMAGES: RUSSIAN ARTIST, AMERICAN PLATFORM

Images from the government’s National Security teaching materials are purchased from US stock site Shutterstock

At least one key image in the Hong Kong government’s Let’s Learn About National Security (Audio Picture Book) video is sourced from American stock site Shutterstock, with the airport image found to be created by Russian artist Aurora72 and sold through the US-based company.

In the seven-minute video, which the government released as teaching material for primary schools, an owl sits with two young school children saying “Every one of us loves Hong Kong, our home” while the playground they sit in is replaced with buildings, an observation wheel, the airport and a busy road. As searched through Shutterstock, the airport is directly taken from the US stock agency, with the word “Airport” removed and some shadows removed, while many other sprites in the video are visually very similar to others on sale through the stock image site.

Netizens have already noted the road in the video runs as a right-hand drive road, leading to speculation on whether Hong Kong aims to align its road network with right-hand drive mainland China. Transport Department has not yet responded to this point, but the source of the animations and images may offer an alternative explanation: that government animators or contractors used Russian or US stock animations without flipping them for left-hand drive Hong Kong.

Both Russia and the US drive on the right.

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