A paper titled “Information Authoritarianism vs. Information Anarchy: A Comparison of Information Ecosystems in Mainland China and Hong Kong during the Early Stage of the COVID-19 Pandemic”, co-authored by Dr. Ding Chunyan and Dr. Lin Fen, was published with China Review in February 2021.
The paper outlies and compares how the information ecosystem of mMainland China and Hong Kong functioned during the early stage of the outbreak, that is, from 31 December 2019 to 29 February 2020. By tracing and examining the timeline of events and news articles published during the early stage of the outbreak through Wisers Information Database, it demonstrates and conceptualizes the information governance in Mainland China as “information authoritarianism” and that in Hong Kong as “information anarchy”. However, despite different patterns of information governance rooted in the different sociopolitical settings, both information ecosystems suffered from false pandemic information. This puzzling observation calls for further research to probe into the nature, reasons, and solutions for the common phenomenon of “infodemic.”