Hashtag activism and connective action: A case study of #HongKongPoliceBrutality

Rong Wang, Alvin Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This study applies the connective action framework and network analysis to analyze how counterpublics used social media to form cliques and mobilize support toward a local issue at the global stage. It presents a case study of the 2019 Hong Kong protest to uncover under what conditions hashtag activism can evolve into connective action. The network approach allows us to examine users and content simultaneously to identify three mechanisms underlying the movement: generative role-taking, hashtag based storytelling, and issue alignment through diverse social groups. Combining descriptive network analysis, modularity analysis, and topic modeling, we demonstrated that hashtag activists during the Hong Kong 2019 protests used different strategies of connective action to engage in information sharing and drive the emergence of connective action. (122 words)

Original languageEnglish
Article number101600
JournalTelematics and Informatics
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Connective action
  • Hashtag activism
  • Online information sharing
  • Retweeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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