One year ago, as Hong Kong protesters fought against a proposed electoral rule change by Beijing, social media, and technology more broadly, was key to spreading the message, so that it was heard not just by protesters but around the world.
Even those not attending were able to get involved; Showing solidarity with the protest was as simple as sharing an image of a yellow umbrella on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to symbolize the movement that carried its name.
Hong Kong is run by Beijing in a 'one country, two systems' policy, which enables the island to enjoy freedoms not permitted for mainlanders. It was against this political backdrop that thousands flooded the streets of Hong Kong to protest against proposed changes to Hong Kong's electoral system, in which China would screen all nominees in the first direct elections for Hong Kong's leader, due to be held in 2017.
The Hong Kong Federation of Students and Scholarism, a student activist group, were the first to protest outside government headquarters, on September 26, 2014. The Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement joined shortly, elevating the protests to a mass civil disobedience campaign.
Early in the action, it became clear that the battle would be waged in part via digital means. Twitter reported that 1.3 million tweets about Hong Kong were recorded between September 26-30, the beginning days of the so-called Umbrella Movement.