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Protests and the Social Media

The political situation in Hong Kong is an interesting case where a lot of in class discussions of networks can be seen. Currently, a large protest is going on in Hong Kong, demanding a democracy from China. Thousands of protesters are littering the streets and many of them are demonstrating in nonviolent protests. The impact that this event has on the world stage is also immense. It is almost guaranteed that the entirety of Taiwan is watching this situation extremely closely, due to China’s recent reunification attempts. Recent impact in social media also provoked millions around the world to support the students as they rally for democracy in Hong Kong.

In class we discussed the idea of different strengths of people that are in relation to each other in a graph or network. We can further extend this to the current situation of the protests going on in Hong Kong. When you consider the protestors in Hong Kong and the power of the ties between the individual people to their friends outside of the country that also support the cause, its is apparent that people with more mutual friends with people in Hong Kong are more involved with the actual protest movement. Even friends that aren’t physically in Hong Kong, and are sort of removed from the area of effect are part of awareness movements that contribute to the cause. One could relate this to Hong Kong members in the social media graph using their power to influence their friends away to bring awareness to this issue. This phenomenon ripples down several edges of friends and the farther it goes out the more power the original poster had. This phenomenon happens for most of disasters and crises around the world, due to the ones affected needing to request help from wherever they can.

Article :http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-29423147

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/01/world/asia/in-hong-kong-clean-and-polite-but-a-protest-nonetheless.html?ref=world

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