Screenshots, Symbols, and Personal Thoughts: The Role of Instagram for Social Activism

Ehsan Ul Haq, Tristan Braud, Yui Pan Yau, Lik Hang Lee, Franziska B. Keller, Pan Hui

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, we highlight the use of Instagram for social activism, taking 2019 Hong Kong protests as a case study. Instagram focuses on image content and provides users with few features to share or repost, limiting information propagation. Nevertheless, users who are politically active offline also share their activism on Instagram. We first evaluate the effect of protests on social media activity for protesters and non-protesters over two significant protests. Protesters' exposure to protest-related posts is much higher than non-protesters, and their network activity follows the protest schedule. They are also much more active on posts related to the protest that they participate in than the other protest. We then analyze the images posted by the users. Users predominantly use symbols related to protests and share personal thoughts on its primary actors. Users primarily share content to raise their network's awareness, and the content choice is directly affected by Instagram's intrinsic interaction modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWWW 2022 - Proceedings of the ACM Web Conference 2022
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages3728-3739
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450390965
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event31st ACM World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2022 - Virtual, Online, France
Duration: 25 Apr 202229 Apr 2022

Publication series

NameWWW 2022 - Proceedings of the ACM Web Conference 2022

Conference

Conference31st ACM World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2022
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityVirtual, Online
Period25/04/2229/04/22

Keywords

  • Instagram
  • Online Social Network
  • Protest
  • Social Activism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Screenshots, Symbols, and Personal Thoughts: The Role of Instagram for Social Activism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this