Finally, we move on to Francis Lee as the last speaker on this second day of The Internet Turning 40. He notes that a few weeks ago, some 150,000 people commemorated the Tian An Men massacre in Hong Kong, and other public rallies are now also becoming commonplace - more and more people are now prepared to participate in such demonstrations. Mainstream media, interpersonal connections, and online media are combining to enable such activities; Hong Kong is becoming 'a proper society'.
What role does the Internet play in this, then? The Internet is used as a means of coordination and mobilisation, as a means of facilitating the formation of movement networks, as a platform for collective or individualised protest actions, and as a channel for persuasive messages and information. For social movements in the online information environment, the Net can be considered as an alternative medium, enabling them to bypass the mass media and transmit oppositional views; also, compared to conventional media, people are less likely to be exposed to discordant views and messages, and a form of self-reinforcing groupthink can develop, particularly with the move towards Web 2.0. This facilitates a heightened audience selectivity.