Rethinking social media and political engagement: An examination of the disconnective practices of politically active youths in Hong Kong

Tsz Hang Chu, Tien Ee Dominic YEO

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Social media have been widely credited for facilitating young people’s political engagement, most notably by providing a platform which is conducive for political expression. There has been little attention, however, to the possible pitfalls for young people in engaging with politics on social media. Through in-depth interviews, this study presents the paradoxical case of a group of politically active youths who have no qualms with participating in an offline large-scale protest but are wary of publicly engaging with politics on social media. The findings indicate that perceptions of hostility, social risk, and futility impede online political expressions while the promises of embodied experience draw participants toward offline participation. Rather than disengage with politics completely on social media, the young people in this study adopt certain “disconnective practices”—selected functions, audiences, and apps—to manage their relationships with others in their social networks who may or may not share their political views.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2018
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450363341
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2018
Event9th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2018 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 18 Jul 201820 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference9th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

User-Defined Keywords

  • Disconnection
  • Hong Kong
  • Political participation
  • Social media
  • Youth

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