Incivility, Online Participation, and Message Delivery in the 2019 Hong Kong Protests: Exploring the Relationship

Gregory Gondwe 1 *

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This study used the 2019 online Hong Kong protests to understand whether negative messages serve as mediators between incivility and civic engagement, and to investigate whether incivility does trivialize the value of information and the message intended. The study sought to examine the impact of two types of incivility in online discourse on online participation and showed that the relationship is mediated by information value and message importance. Through ‘netnographic’ research, quasi-experiments, and online surveys, the findings were able to demonstrate that incivility (good) was necessary for increasing online participation, therefore, allowing negative messages to serve as mediators with indirect effects. The mediating effects were observed in the arousal of emotions that led to participation. Second, findings suggested that (good) incivility defined the importance of information and the content of the message.


online protests Facebook platforms Hong Kong information trivialization incivility


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 10, Issue 4, October 2020, Article No: e202022

Published Online: 19 Jul 2020

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