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First POST: Unimaginable

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, October 2 2014


  • Meet Joshua Wong, a 17-year-old student activist at the heart of Hong Kong's youth movement for democracy, who when he was 14 started an online group called Scholarism to oppose curriculum changes pushing more "patriotic education" on Hong Kong's students.

  • In the New Yorker, Emily Parker explains how Hong Kong's current protests are different from a prior round of pro-democracy demonstrations in 2003: texting and WhatsApp to self-organize, Twitter to spread the news, and "the sense of being part of a global online community" rather than an isolated local event.

  • At, people from around the world are posting messages that are being post on a screen in Hong Kong.

  • Jenni Ryall of Mashable has written an unintentionally revealing post titled "Forget Airbnb: Sharing Economy Blooms During Hong Kong Protests" about the "sharing economy in action" in the streets of Hong Kong. Everything she describes--shared umbrellas; donations of free food, cleaning supplies and hair cuts; a free library--is classic communal solidarity, often seen in grassroots protest movements. If anything, you can't apply the term "sharing economy" to Occupy Central because the "sharing economy" has been largely co-opted to mean companies that make money off of enabling people to share goods and services with each other. When money isn't being exchanged, this is just called "sharing."

  • Anonymous says it's going to hack Hong Kong government websites in support of Occupy Central. Given how much the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong has taken care to show respect for civil order, it's hard to see how this will help them.

  • Beijing has now warned the protestors of "unimaginable consequences" if they don't back down, reports William Wan and Daniela Deane."

  • Hundreds of US police agencies are distributing so-called "internet safety software" to concerned parents that is actually highly insecure spyware, capable of logging their family's keystrokes and sending that information to third-parties without encryption, reports Dave Maass for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Thus instead of protecting children from online predators, the software makes them more exposed, he points out.

  • Facebook's Chief Product Officer Chris Cox has apologized to LGBTQ community members who were protesting its crackdown on their use of pseudonyms, Ian Sherr reports for CNet.