Cyber Terrorism in Name of Cyber Activism: Discomfort in Looking at Some Derivative Works in Recent Hong Kong

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  • Cyber Terrorism in Name of Cyber Activism: Discomfort in Looking at Some Derivative Works in Recent Hong Kong

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Abstract:

  • Abstract (short paper)

    Increased awareness of cyber activism and civil disobedience in Hong Kong has led to a concurrent proliferation of so-called ‘derivative works.’ These computer-manipulated images are created for, and disseminated via, the Internet in response to the contested political climate of the city. This paper treats such derivative works as visual evidences to examine the ethics of image-making and photographic manipulation within the milieu of Hong Kong. It also discusses the cyber behaviour and interchange of image consumption and production via the Internet. Selected derivative works from social media and discussion forum in Hong Kong are framed as political expressions in relation to debates about pornography, misogyny, racism and terrorism. The emancipatory nature of derivative image-making practices, specifically nonhierarchical dissemination, is contrasted with an argument that these same practices are seen as a form of cyber terrorism that reinforces hatred of the ‘other.’ Derivative works, I argue, are not merely images of personal and political expressions but sites that embed and shape ideological repression. An image democracy without gender and racial justices as well as image ethics is not a future of hope and promise.