Examining the roles of social media and alternative media in social movement participation : A study of Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement

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Original languageEnglish
Article number101303
Journal / PublicationTelematics and Informatics
Online published2 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


During the recent wave of pro-democracy movement across the world, new media technologies play a vital role in mobilizing participants. Much scholarly attention has been paid to the role of social media in empowering grassroots movements, but the rise of alternative media was somehow ignored. This study examines the impacts of social media and alternative media on social movement participation. The data came from a survey of 769 students from eight public universities in Hong Kong at the height of the Umbrella Movement. The findings revealed that acquisition of political information from social media and alternative media is associated with social movement participation through different mechanisms. Specifically, social media serve as an echo chamber where people are motivated to participate by perceiving a homogeneous opinion climate and forming a pro-protest attitude. In contrast, alternative media serve as an attitude intensifier to facilitate social movement participation.

Research Area(s)

  • Alternative media, Social media, Social movement participation, The Umbrella Movement