26th European Regional Conference of the International Telecommunications Society (ITS), Madrid, Spain, 24-27 June 2015
This paper aims to investigate the impacts of Civic Media, such as access to the Internet, mobile phones and use of social media, on the progress of democratization in Hong Kong. It focuses on one dimension: effects on social movements. Hong Kong is selected as a target of study because the International Telecommunication Union (2015) reports that its residents enjoy one of the world’s highest accesses to cellular phones, personal computers and the Internet. In addition, the access and use of ICT have yielded enormous benefits and provoked economic and social development in the region, especially since the 1990s. However, after the student protests of September 2014 against the decree issued by the Chinese government which did not allow the free election of electoral candidates, Hong Kong has experienced a crucial moment. In this context, one question arises: does access to civic media empower social movement? The methodological approach implemented for now is a qualitative analysis based on the theoretical framework and the establishment of two social movement typologies: the case of the 15 of May 2011 movement in Spain and the Umbrella movement in September 2014.