JMSC Research Seminar: Cyberbalkanization of the Hong Kong Facebook pages during the #umbrellarevolution

Date: January 30, 2015
Time: 13:00 – 14:00
Venue: Digital Media Lab, G/F, Eliot Hall, JMSC, HKU

Social media was depicted as a platform of open discussion between people with different views. But such notion is challenged by recent evidence showing that social media is indeed balkanized, which means that social media users with similar interests are grouped in online community and each community tends to be intolerant to other’s views. In this presentation, I will present the preliminary result of the social network analysis of the Hong Kong Facebook pages sharing network collected during the “Umbrella Movement”. One study objective is to discover the communities within the network and how these communities contributed to the public opinion formation. The findings suggest that large communities of Facebook pages seem to be grouped by political ideologies and their post-sharing activities were associated with real-life public opinion, i.e. the approval rating of the Chief Executive CY Leung.

Speaker’s Bio:
Chung-hong Chan is a second-year doctoral student of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong. His major research interests are social media analytics and socio-political implications of cyberbalkanization. On top of his own research, he is currently the administrator of the HKU Weiboscope project. He has a MSc in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Contact him at