Travel Scholarship Recipient – Chan

Each year, through the generous donations of AoIR conference attendees, we are able to fund several travel scholarships for junior scholars to attend the conference. We want to recognize our scholarship recipients and share with you a little bit about them and their interests.

ChanheadshotChung-hong Chan

Who are you?

Chung-hong Chan (@chainsawriot on github and twitter)

Where are you from?

I am from Hong Kong, so I usually introduce myself as “Hong Kong’s Hong”. I am a fourth year PhD student at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre, the University of Hong Kong (@JMSCHKU). So, I also like to introduce myself as “Hong Kong U’s Hong”.

What is your current area of study?

My PhD research is mainly focus on the political consequences of Cyberbalkanization. I am also interested in studying Internet Censorship in China.

Describe the research you will present at AoIR 2016.

I will present a study entitled “Can Online Rumour Be A Social Good In An Authoritarian State? A Case Study Of Rumour On Sina Weibo After The 2015 Tianjin Blasts”, which is a collaborative study between Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and HKU. We study the use of Sina Weibo (a Chinese domestic equivalent of Twitter) for the discussion of rumours about the 2015 Tianjin blasts and how the authority in China attempted to manage those rumours using content moderation strategies. Using a data driven study design, we found that the authority manage topic of rumours differently and there are three broad strategies: 1) “let it be”; 2) rumour rebuttals and 3) rumour rebuttals plus content censorship. With time series analysis, we found no evidence on these management strategy can consistently curb the public discussion of rumours and instead stimulate more general discussion about them. This study fills the research gap on how the social media are used during crisis in authoritarian regime and study the effectiveness of content moderation strategies such as rumour rebuttals and censorship in term of curbing public discussion about rumours. [PA-13: Lies Researching Misleading Information Within Hybrid Media Ecologies. Where We are and Where We are Going 7 Oct 9:00 – 10:30]

Have you presented at AoIR in the past? If yes, what has been your experience? If #AoIR2016 Berlin is your first AoIR conference, what made you choose this conference?

This is my first AoIR conference. From what I know, AoIR is the best Internet Studies conference.

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