The Newsletter 70 Spring 2015

Youth participation in the Umbrella Movement: the role of new media

Carmen Tong

Occupiers and ordinary people alike, Hongkongers found themselves glued to different new media since teargas swept the streets of Admiralty. News and updates diffused quickly beyond the territory through multilingual updates on Facebook. Working with almost 800 translators, I witnessed the eagerness of netizens’ engagement in the Umbrella Movement. Notwithstanding the reservations of its critics, new media plays a crucial role in the mobilization of social movements across the world. Indeed, for the younger generation in Hong Kong, new media is the platform through which they exchange information and perspectives, engage in dialogues, make their voices heard, coordinate resource mobilization, hence exercise their rights and empower themselves as citizens. New media is indispensable as a public sphere for them, as the following 4 narratives testify.