Wild hopes: Sourcing the political vocabulary of digital citizenship from the LIHKG forum

John N. Erni*, Yin Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In the 2019 Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill resistance movement, Hong Kong netizens used a popular digital platform known as LIHKG (連登) as a communicative center to exchange time-based information, express outrage or solidarity, and assemble decentered actions of agitation. There was an implied sense that LIHKG was facilitating a “wild” mode of politics oriented toward agitation, disturbance, and chaos. This paper examines its “wild politics” and asks: how might we trace the evolution of a complex political vernacular capable of creating a chaotic form of organizing, and what did this vocabulary tell us about the latent meanings, desires, and identity-making of the networked protesters? Utilizing the LDA topic-modelling method, we analyzed a large corpus of discussion threads on LIHKG to develop a customized domain-specific thematic repertoire, and revealed a “language in the wild” as part of a cultural archive that embodied the netizens’ ambivalent hopes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-375
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Communication Gazette
Issue number4
Early online date12 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • anti-ELAB movement
  • digital activism
  • Hong Kong
  • LDA topic modelling
  • LIHKG forum


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