Hai Liang

Hai Liang
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | CUHK · School of Journalism and Communication

PhD

About

41
Publications
32,233
Reads
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782
Citations
Citations since 2016
34 Research Items
779 Citations
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Introduction
My research interest and background cross science and social science, ranging from social-web data-mining and online user behavior to political deliberation and computational advertising. Currently, I am working on several interdisciplinary projects at the intersection of computational science and online human communication (political discussion in particular).

Publications

Publications (41)
Article
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Population-level national networks on social media are precious and essential for network science and behavioural science. This study collected a population-level Twitter network, based on both language and geolocation tags. We proposed a set of validation approaches to evaluate the validity of our datasets. Finally, we re-examined classical networ...
Article
Objective This project aimed to quantify and compare Massachusetts and Georgia public school districts’ 2017–2018 winter-storm-related Twitter unplanned school closure announcements (USCA). Methods Public school district Twitter handles and National Center for Education Statistics data were obtained for Georgia and Massachusetts. Tweets were retri...
Article
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This study examines the one-way information diffusion and two-way dialogic engagement present in public health Twitter chats. Network analysis assessed whether Twitter chats adhere to one of the key principles for online dialogic communication, the dialogic loop (Kent & Taylor, 1998) for four public health-related chats hosted by CDC Twitter accoun...
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Contemporary networked social movements are often described as leaderless. However, social influence is inevitably unevenly distributed across participants, so informal and diffused leaders do exist. This study contends that analysis of informal and diffused leadership in networked social movements should examine whether such leadership is stable a...
Article
Social media platforms are increasingly being used as important sources for obtaining various types of information in the current digital age. While an increasing number of studies have investigated the factors that influence user's news content sharing behavior, few have paid attention to the reposting latency of online news contents. Reposting la...
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Exposure to presumably uncivil content is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for perceptions of incivility and thus could lead to differential political consequences. To examine the emergence and consequences of perceived incivility in disagreement comments, the present study reports on two population-based online survey experiments in...
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Many contemporary networked social movements are marked by the absence of central leadership. This raises the practical question of (self-)organizing through communication. The online forum LIHKG was widely recognized as the central communication platform for supporters of the Anti-ELAB movement in Hong Kong. How can we discern whether forum users...
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The Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill (Anti-ELAB) movement in Hong Kong was marked by a significant degree of tactical radicalisation in its first six months. Yet the movement also succeeded in maintaining a high degree of solidarity and public support. This article explains how tactical radicalisation and public receptiveness toward radical acti...
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Modeling retweeting behaviors is important for understanding and predicting how information spreads on social media platforms. The present study contributes to the literature by examining the decreasing social contagion and increasing homophily effects with the depth of diffusion cascades. To test the hypotheses, the study proposes a matching-on-fo...
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Online consumer reviews are word-of-mouth exchanges on the Internet that can be harnessed for decision support. Combining computational and experimental methods, the current two-part research uncovered the effects of textual features on trustworthiness of consumer reviews on TripAdvisor. Taking a bottom-up approach, Study 1 employed text mining and...
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Much contemporary social mobilization is digitally enabled. Digital media may provide the communication platforms on which supporters deliberate movement goals, share information, discuss tactics, and generate discourses in response to ongoing happenings. Yet digital media’s capability to serve these functions should depend on platform-specific aff...
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Typically grounded in a discussion of contact vs. threat theory, much research has examined the impact of the presence of ethnic minorities in residential contexts on people’s attitude toward immigration. Yet, there has not been much evidence regarding whether the presence of a linguistically-defined minority can create similar impact under specifi...
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Grounded in intergroup threat theory, much research has illustrated the negative impact of the contextual presence of ethnic minorities construed as threats by the mainstream society on racial attitudes. This study examines the possibility that the presence of other “non-threatening” ethnic minorities could undermine such negative impact. We conten...
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Background Awareness and attentiveness have implications for the acceptance and adoption of disease prevention and control measures. Social media posts provide a record of the public’s attention to an outbreak. To measure the attention of Chinese netizens to COVID-19, a pre-established nationally representative cohort of Weibo users was searched fo...
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This study is concerned with the role of persistent online incivility in the dynamics of public opinion polarization. It examines how cyberbalkanization, contentiousness of the political context, online incivility, and opinion polarization at the collective level relate to each other. Focusing on Hong Kong and drawing upon data from different sourc...
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Introduction: Twitter and media coverage on poliomyelitis help maintain global support for its eradication. Objective: To test our hypothesis that themes of polio-related tweets and media articles would differ by location of interest (hashtag of country name mentioned in the tweet; country name mentioned in media articles) but would be similar t...
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As a pedagogical demonstration of Twitter data analysis, a case study of HIV/AIDS-related tweets around World AIDS Day, 2014, was presented. This study examined if Twitter users from countries with various income levels responded differently to World AIDS Day. The performance of support vector machine (SVM) models as classifiers of relevant tweets...
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Computational social science has caused a shift of research paradigm in social science in general and communication in particular. The special issue brings together a community of active researchers to introduce computational social science for Asia-Pacific communication research. The special issue outlines major computational methods closely relat...
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Background Information and emotions towards public health issues could spread widely through online social networks. Although aggregate metrics on the volume of information diffusion are available, we know little about how information spreads on online social networks. Health information could be transmitted from one to many (i.e. broadcasting) or...
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Twitter is a social media platform where over 500 million people worldwide publish their ideas and discuss diverse topics, including their health conditions and public health events. Twitter has proved to be an important source of health-related information on the Internet, given the amount of information that is shared by both citizens and officia...
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Background: Twitter is used for World Pneumonia Day (WPD; November 12) communication. We evaluate if themes of #pneumonia tweets were associated with retweet frequency. Methods: A total of 28 181 original #pneumonia tweets were retrieved (21 November 2016), from which six subcorpora, 1 mo before and 1 mo after WPD 2011-2016, were extracted (n=67...
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Background: The CDC hosts monthly panel presentations titled ‘Public Health Grand Rounds’ and publishes monthly reports known as Vital Signs. Hashtags #CDCGrandRounds and #VitalSigns were used to promote them on Twitter. Objectives: This study quantified the effect of hashtag count, mention count, and URL count and attaching visual cues to #CDCGran...
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Background: The CDC hosts monthly panel presentations titled 'Public Health Grand Rounds' and publishes monthly reports known as Vital Signs. Hashtags #CDCGrandRounds and #VitalSigns were used to promote them on Twitter. Objectives: This study quantified the effect of hashtag count, mention count, and URL count and attaching visual cues to #CDCGra...
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Sharing cross-ideological messages on social media exposes people to political diversity and generates other benefits for society. This study argues that the diffusion patterns of political messages can influence the degree of selective sharing. Using a large-scale diffusion dataset from Twitter, this study found that messages that spread through m...
Article
The use of social media such as Twitter has changed our life routines. Previous studies have found consistent diurnal patterns of user activities on social media platforms. However, the temporal organization of human behaviors is partly socially constructed and is determined by numerous factors other than the diurnal cycle. The current study argues...
Article
Introduction: Image-based social media Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Flickr have become sources of health-related information and tools for health communication. No known systematic review exists that summarizes the existing research and its health implications. Methods: We searched EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete, PubMed, and Web of Scie...
Chapter
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Social media provide gold mines of data for communication research. Different from traditional social science research methods such as survey, experiment, or content analysis, a new set of methods are required to collect Big Data from social media. In the current entry, we introduce the general procedure of how to collect social media data on conte...
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Background Advocates use the hashtag #GlobalHealth on Twitter to draw users' attention to prominent themes on global health, to harness their support, and to advocate for change. Objectives We aimed to describe #GlobalHealth tweets pertinent to given major health issues. Methods Tweets containing the hashtag #GlobalHealth (N = 157,951) from Janua...
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Background Different linguo-cultural communities might react to an outbreak differently. The 2015 South Korean MERS outbreak presented an opportunity for us to compare tweets responding to the same outbreak in different languages. Methods We obtained a 1% sample through Twitter streaming application programming interface from June 1 to 30, 2015. W...
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It remains controversial whether community structures in social networks are beneficial or not for information diffusion. This study examined the relationships among four core concepts in social network analysis—network redundancy, information redundancy, ego-alter similarity, and tie strength—and their impacts on information diffusion. By using mo...
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The emergence of social media has changed individuals' information consumption patterns. The purpose of this study is to explore the role of information overload, similarity, and redundancy in unsubscribing information sources from users' information repertoires. In doing so, we randomly selected nearly 7,500 ego networks on Twitter and tracked the...
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Zika-related Twitter incidence peaked after the World Health Organization declared an emergency. Five themes were identified from Zika-related Twitter content: (1) societal impact of the outbreak; (2) government, public and private sector, and general public responses to the outbreak; (3) pregnancy and microcephaly: negative health consequences rel...
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Privacy is a culturally specific phenomenon. As social media platforms are going global, questions concerning privacy practices in a cross-cultural context become increasingly important. The purpose of this study is to examine cultural variations of privacy settings and self-disclosure of geolocation on Twitter. We randomly selected 3.3 million Twi...
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Replication is an essential requirement for scientific discovery. The current study aims to generalize and replicate 10 propositions made in previous Twitter studies using a representative dataset. Our findings suggest 6 out of 10 propositions could not be replicated due to the variations of data collection, analytic strategies employed, and incons...
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The present study examines political discussion forums from 54 societies and links communicative inequality to features of cultural traditions, value orientations, and political systems. Results show that inequalities among discussion threads in attracting readers’ attention and responses exist in all discussion forums. Most of the discussion threa...
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The structure of online political discussion has proven important to deliberative democracy. However, the organizational mechanisms of the structure receive little attention in scholarship. This study employed a random-effects relational event model to differentiate and examine the effects of a set of organizational principles in web forum discussi...
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The oft-quoted John Dewey line ‘‘[d]emocracy begins in conversation’’ (Lamont,1959,p.58) highlights the political implication of free and vibrant discussions inmodern societies. Political discussion and conversation could enhance public opinion,which in turn influences political actors and their policies (Stromer-Galley W Schneider, 1996), and the...
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Common ground is vital for developing deliberative democracy. The current study employs text mining techniques to measure common ground in online political discussions and examines how the structure of political discussions coevolves with common ground over time. The present study collected 175,960 messages over a period of 13 months, from a popula...
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This study aims to explore the patterns and trends of Internet news use in a Chinese metropolis, Shanghai. By analyzing news webpage browsing data from three selected months in 2009, 2010, and 2011, we seek to present some evidence other than self-report data, which were widely used in past research but subject to the influence of memory limitation...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Public health surveillance using social media data
Project
social media discussion, social media protests, uncivil discourses, using computational methods in particular
Project
various computational social science studies using randomly sampled Twitter data