Hong Kong and the umbrella movement: Mobile social media, activism, and social change

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Starting from the Arab Spring, social media accessed via mobile phones have played a large role in organizing protest movements and revolutions. In this chapter, Colin Agur focuses on the use of mobile telephones and social media in the so-called Umbrella Movement of Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous territory of the Republic of China. Agur traces the movement’s roots starting from September 1994, when China prevented Hong Kong residents from electing their own chief executive. Protests erupted on the streets. But as Agur notes, these protests were not random. They were planned almost 18 months earlier, when organizers of Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP) began using social media to plan their actions and strategies. Social media was used as a tool for social deliberation, for seeking opinions and strategies, and for generating a civil referendum. The protests then morphed into what is now known as the Umbrella Movement, named for the use of umbrellas by the protestors as defenses against tear-gas cannons. Agur goes on to describe in detail how mobile social media was used during every aspect of the protests, as well as beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMobile Technology and Social Transformations
Subtitle of host publicationAccess to Knowledge in Global Contexts
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781000375145
ISBN (Print)9780367545222
StatePublished - Apr 2 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 selection and editorial matter, Stefanie Felsberger and Ramesh Subramanian; individual chapters, the contributors.


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