The title of an SCMP article released on July 6, 2012 is “Social media’s rise as (a) ‘ loudspeaker‘” (Web-site/URL: http://topics.scmp.com/news/hk-news-watch/article/Social-medias-rise-as-loudspeaker). IT CERTAINLY IS a “loudspeaker”.
According to Napoleon Biggs, “a social media commentator who first came (to) Hong Kong in 1993“, “People were VERY POLITICALLY AWARE in 1997, but THEY DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO SHARE IT. You’ve always had people who have been FRUSTRATED, ANGRY (and) DISSATISFIED“, two very common HIGHLY NEGATIVE and POTENTIALLY EXPLOSIVE/DANGEROUS emotions. “What Facebook, Twitter and [Sina] Weibo do is rally people and get them to GO ON (to) THE STREETS“. ”go on (to) the streets) is something that GIGI IBRAHIM (gsquare86) is absolutely OBSESSED WITH. “Imagine IF we knew the conversations that were happening in 1997“. Unfortunately, WE DIDN’T.
“In 2003, more than 400 million text messages were sent. Last year (2011), 7.4 BILLION texts were sent“. We’re talking about a different era here. 2003 was almost 10 years ago now.
Biggs went on: “There was a tiny fraction of people who cared about what the internet was about [15 years ago]. IT JUST WASN’T ON PEOPLE’S RADARS“.
“Only those who knew how to work the hardware and configure dial-up connections could access the web”.
Biggs continued: “It was mainly traveling executives and systems engineers”.
“Internet access has grown increasingly convenient, with the number of wi-fi hotspots doubling to more than 10,000 in the last five years”.
“At the end of 2006, the number of local Facebook users was an estimated 25,000, Biggs said. By then, the fledgling America-based social-networking site had about 12 million users worldwide”.
Biggs went on: “Hong Kong was LAGGING BEHIND places like Australia and Singapore, but as soon as the Chinese interface arrived, THE WHOLE THING WENT THROUGH THE ROOF“. ”the Chinese” CHEAP ”interface”, for Facebook of course is QQ and for Twitter, Sina Weibo.
“There are now 3.7 million Facebook accounts in Hong Kong, says Socialbakers, a social media research company”.
“The groundswell of ANGRY feet on the city’s pavements last Sunday (July 1, 2012) was also a sign of how the friendship networks so valued by Facebook has shifted to suit its users”, as if we DON’T have enough “angry” people in the world already.
According to Jayne Leung, “Facebook’s regional director for North Asia”, “Instead of searching for information from the web, we are now seeing users look to THEIR FRIENDS AS A POWERFUL SOURCE OF INFORMATION“. GIGI IBRAHIM (gsquare86) is the perfect example of this.
Finally, “John Merakovsky, Experian Marketing Services’ managing director for (the) Asia-Pacific, said their data also showed Hongkongers were following mainland websites MORE closely than before“. “This supports the development of a CLOSER relationship between the people of Hong Kong and mainland China in the 15 years since the handover”.
To conclude, let’s note something that we mentioned earlier: “What Facebook, Twitter, and [Sina] Weibo do is RALLY PEOPLE and get them to GO ON THE STREET“. Mainland Chinese authorities are HYSTERICALLY afraid of precisely that.