Wild hopes: Sourcing the political vocabulary of digital citizenship from the LIHKG forum

John N ERNI, Yin ZHANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

In the 2019 Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill resistance movement, Hong Kong netizens used a popular digital platform known as LIHKG (連登) as a communicative center to exchange time-based information, express outrage or solidarity, and assemble decentered actions of agitation. There was an implied sense that LIHKG was facilitating a “wild” mode of politics oriented toward agitation, disturbance, and chaos. This paper examines its “wild politics” and asks: how might we trace the evolution of a complex political vernacular capable of creating a chaotic form of organizing, and what did this vocabulary tell us about the latent meanings, desires, and identity-making of the networked protesters? Utilizing the LDA topic-modelling method, we analyzed a large corpus of discussion threads on LIHKG to develop a customized domain-specific thematic repertoire, and revealed a “language in the wild” as part of a cultural archive that embodied the netizens’ ambivalent hopes. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-375
JournalInternational Communication Gazette
Volume84
Issue number4
Early online dateApr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2022

Citation

Erni, J. N., & Zhang, Y. (2022). Wild hopes: Sourcing the political vocabulary of digital citizenship from the LIHKG forum. International Communication Gazette, 84(4), 349-375. doi: 10.1177/17480485221094123

Keywords

  • LIHKG forum
  • Anti-ELAB movement
  • Digital activism
  • LDA topic modelling
  • Hong Kong

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