World News

How technology is Helping the Hong Kong Protests

Hong Kong protesters, despite being held back by the police, have been turning to creative technological outlets to spread their message and invite others to join them.

Hong Kong protesters show no sign of slowing down as they approach four months of continuous protest against the controversial extradition bill, which has been suspended by the city’s leader, Carrie Lam. Protesters have been using technology in inventive ways to distribute protest details and invite others to join their cause. 

When police denied permission to a protest scheduled July 27th, organisers of the protests turned to Pokemón Go, saying that, instead of protesting, people would show up to play the popular game where they battle virtual monsters in real-life locations. 

Hong Kong protest.

On the other hand, Apple’s wifi and bluetooth based file transfer service, AirDrop, and the popular dating app, Tinder, have been used to share protest information. In a packed train station, protest organizers would send unsolicited posters about information on protests to a random Apple user. In addition, the Abacus news site reports that protesters have used Tinder to invite people not to a date, but out to the streets. Gavin Huang, an editor on the Chinese news platform Goldthread, has tweeted about a poster he received via Tinder with information on general strikes over the next several weeks. 

While protesters have used these innovative methods to transmit information, more traditional forums where anonymity is protected, such as LIHKG, also named the Hong Kong Reddit, have been used to organize and mobilize protests. The private messaging app, Telegram, has also been in use among protesters organizing and participating in the marches.

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