Internet Culture And The Sunflower Movement

Internet Culture And The Sunflower Movement

Internet culture had an instrumental role in discussing political issues such as the CSSTA for Taiwanese youth activists

The Internet and, in particular, social media constituted a means for youth activists to discuss issues, coordinate actions, and otherwise had an instrumental role in building the political consensus underlying Taiwanese civil society about the CSSTA and other issues. Facebook is the preferred social media platform in Taiwan and not only was word of major actions spread through using Facebook events and other advertising on the platform, but “kusos” and memes were used as a way to joke about political events in a way which served to cement views between activists.

Likewise, sometimes Facebook notes written with firsthand accounts, analyses, or commentary on political events would be widely shared, leading to the rise of “Internet celebrities” (網路明星) who served as opinion leaders for the youth activism. The Internet had a large role in building a shared among social activists, such as building shared consensus on certain political issues, or fanning up outrage over news developments.

Photo credit: Abby Chen/Flickr/CC

During the Sunflower Movement itself, Facebook also played an important role in crowdsourcing efforts, not only in terms of spreading word of such efforts, but as an incubator for such efforts to emerge to begin with. Many political communities also trace their origin to communities, formed from Facebook pages or groups. A number of online platforms were also created during the movement itself for the coordination of actions, sharing of information, and etc., particularly by the g0v and Watchout communities.


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Photo credit: 中岑 范姜/Flickr/CC