SSC Research Seminar
Rumour mediated radicalization: Circulation of rumour on Telegram and LIHKG and its role in sustaining radical protests
Date: 9 July 2020 (this Thursday)
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Venue: M502 / Online Seminar (the link will be sent prior to the research seminar)
Rumour is a form of improvised public opinion which is prevailing in a crisis in which credibility of official bodies doubted. It represents political distrust. It can also function to be part of the movement frame to build solidarity among protesters and justify radical actions. Since August 2019, the anti-extradition bill movement has been characterized by a wide circulation of rumours. The rumours include a range of issues related to the abuse of power of the police force. Many people believed that some protesters were tortured, murdered, and raped by police officers. Based on the data collected from onsite surveys, this paper examines the relationship between belief in rumours and support for radical actions. Besides, it argues that rumour can strengthen the effect of use of the Internet in enhancing protesters’ support for radical actions.
Dr. Gary Tang is the Assistant Professor of the Department of Social Science. His research interests include political communication, social media, social movement and youth studies. He is also Honorary Research Associate at Centre for Youth Studies, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, and Deputy Convenor (New Media Research) at Hong Kong Institute for Politics and Governance.