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Internet, Computer-Mediated Communications and Gay Rights Movements in Taiwan

Human Rights and Media

ISBN: 978-0-76230-052-5, eISBN: 978-1-84950-695-3

Publication date: 14 October 2011


The rise of the Internet has facilitated net activism among many virtual gay communities in Taiwan. The communication role that the Internet plays is in particular vital, because homosexuality is still considered a taboo in Taiwan's society. Cyberspace created by the Internet forms a unique “space” where local homosexuals can share their experience of being gays with each other. The purposes of this chapter are intended to examine how the Internet facilitated the formation, promotion, and success of gay rights movements among homosexual communities in Taiwan. This chapter uses the Chang-Der Street Police Harassment Incident as a case study to elaborate the Internet's communication role in mobilizing local gay populations to pursue their gay rights. It also investigates the Internet's strategic role as a communication medium in gay rights movements. The case analysis and in-depth interviews help identify several key functions that the Internet can play: to exchange and share information, to organize and coordinate gay rights movements, to record and store historical information, and to lead social and value changes in the future. This chapter explores the potential of the Internet in online community mobilization, an early look at virtual community and net activism.


Cheng, C.-Y. and Yang, K.C.C. (2011), "Internet, Computer-Mediated Communications and Gay Rights Movements in Taiwan", Papademas, D. (Ed.) Human Rights and Media (Studies in Communications, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 161-179.



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