The Influence of Social Media on Umbrella Movement
Research Project ProposalThe Influence of Social Media on Umbrella MovementCCT310Instructor: Tracey BowenName: Tian MengStudent Number: 999577729Date submitted: Nov. 5th.2014Background and Research question:Hong Kong, officially know as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is the most important trade centre and financial centre in the world. Hong Kong was established as a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War and the sovereignty of Hong Kong was transferred to People’s Republic of China in 1997. Under the principle of “one country, two systems,” Hong Kong was given economic and political freedoms outside the traditional socialist rules of the People’s Republic of China.When the UK handed Hong Kong back to China, there was a deal which agreed the people of Hong Kong would be able to elect their own chief executive democratically in 2017. However, in late August this year, the Chinese legislature’s standing committee ruled that for the 2017 Chief Executive election, a nominating committee, mirroring the present 1200-member Election Committee be formed to nominate two to three candidates, each of whom must receive the support of more than half of the member of the nominating committee. After popular election of one of the nominated candidates, the Chief Executive-elect” will have to be appointed by the Central People’s Government (Chinese legislature’s standing committee, 2014). This decision disappoints and frightens the people of Hong Kong. They feel that their freedom has been compromised. And this became the flash point of the whole Hong Kong Umbrella Movement.
University and high school students became the first and the major group of protesters. This protest began with the boycotting class of the students and some students stormed Civic Square, which houses Hong Kong’s central government offices on September 26th. It is noticeable that social media becomes a key tool in this student-led movement. There has been a flood of photos, tweets, and videos coming out from Hong Kong via social media, Twitter, Facebook mainly. Therefore, it is interesting to study how does social media influence progress of Umbrella Movement. According to the article from USA TODAY, social media helped spread the Umbrella Movement (Dastagir & Hampson, 2014). Social media has an important impact on Umbrella Movement because the connotation of images and content enlarges the scale of the movement; at the same time, it misleads viewer’s judgment.Rationale: The rapid evolution of technology has gradually shifted communication from more conventional channels such as print media and television to the use of web-based platforms. Social media is now so influential that politics are highly affected by it as well. Politicians use social media as a platform to communicate with voters, as they want to gain the trust of voters in order to win the election. Social media is not only associated with election, it also has an important impact on revolutions.