Intensified Ideological Online Clashes with Group Political Bias

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Xintong Han

Concordia University; CIREQ

Mandy Hu

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Marketing

Date Written: September 14, 2020

Abstract

We collect the data from Hong Kong’s major news media Facebook pages from 2019 to 2020 to examine the online ideological clash between pro-democracy and pro-Beijing parties. We show that the increase of pro-police comments in Simplified Chinese induced a stronger reaction from the opposite side with more comments promoting anti-police and supporting Hong Kong independence. We attribute the intensification of ideological clashes to the longstanding inherent bias among netizens after the “Official Character Simplifications” reforms implemented by the Communist Party of China in the 1950s. At the same time, the presence of bots greatly alleviated the intensification.

Keywords: social media, writing habit, political protests, ideological clashes;

JEL Classification: D71, L82, P48, P51

Suggested Citation

Han, Xintong and Hu, Mandy, Intensified Ideological Online Clashes with Group Political Bias (September 14, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Xintong Han (Contact Author)

Concordia University ( email )

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
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5149923881 (Phone)

CIREQ ( email )

C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7
Canada

Mandy Hu

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Marketing ( email )

Room 1101, 11/F, Cheung Yu Tung Building
12 Chak Cheung Street
Shatin, N.T.
China

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