The protests in Hong Kong have been marked by the use of smartphones and social media to bypass Chinese government censorship of the internet.
In a column for The Globe and Mail, I explain how activists have always found ways to use the latest communication technologies to get their message out. At the time of the Tiananmen Square massacre 25 years ago, it was fax machines. Today, it is smartphones, Instagram and the FireChat app.
From the column:
Smartphones and social media do not create protests movements or overthrow governments. But information is power. In the cat and mouse game of controlling access to information, such technologies go a long way towards evening the odds away from the Goliath of the state in favor of the David of dissent.
One of the chapters in my upcoming book, Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why It Matters, reveals how activists are using new technologies to contest mainstream media narratives and challenge political elites. The book is out on Oct. 14, published by DoubleDay Canada.
(Photo: Kevin Ho)