Whether you agree or not with the cause and the methods deployed, the use of technology to coordinate the recent anti-government protests in Hong Kong is impressive.
From the safety of my sofa watching proceedings on a hi definition tv whilst chatting to my friends on a WhatsApp group specifically setup to discuss the pros and cons of the current anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong, I must marvel at the use of technology to organise these events. I look at this and sometimes wish my staff were so well organised in using what is available to them to communicate with each other and clients. Maybe I am doing them a disservice.
We have most definitely entered into a new realm of coordination that I personally believe the officials are struggling to keep up with.
Here is a short list of some of the apps the protesters are using to coordinate and keep updated with developments: –
- Pokémon Go
- Air Drop
The ability to communicate and assemble huge numbers of people in a short time or re-assign people to go to a different location quickly through mediums like Telegram, Air Drop etc means that the officials struggle to deploy forces as quick.
Rather than submitting an application for a mass rally, which in the current climate is likely to be rejected, the use of Pokémon Go to arrange locations for masses of people to gather is an ingenious use of technology even if it goes against the principles of fun gaming.
Tinder is apparently being used to help organise events. Movement sympathetic Uber drivers are using Telegram to let people know where they are and then disabling their GPS so that they can collect protestors who want to leave.
Scouts of the protest groups uses various apps to give details on real time police movements so that the protestors can be suitably informed.
International sympathisers post updates on Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram etc so that there will be no repercussions for someone in Hong Kong.
The use of all these tools helps maintain the anonymity of many of those involved, hence all of this helps with “a leaderless movement” where no one individual can be pinpointed as the ringleader. Don’t read leaderless in the sense that it is uncoordinated or uncontrolled, as that could not be further from the truth. This method of organisation and coordination is probably the most advanced that any government has seen.
Through all of this, the common requirement for all to be engaged with the process is a smartphone. Since very few smartphones can be used constantly throughout the day without a charge, a mobile battery pack is therefore part of the essential Modern Protestors Toolkit.