Taiwan’s unique circumstance as a contested state makes it imperative for the country to increase international support for and awareness of its embattled democracy at the hands of the authoritarian government in Beijing through positive public visibility. #TaiwanCanHelp, while perhaps similar to other forms of hashtag activism, is also very different because it also encompasses digitalization of diplomacy, in which the Taiwanese government seeks to raise international awareness of its struggle and gain goodwill through its medical equipment donations. The social influence of #TaiwanCanHelp has not been measured and examined extensively. Evaluation of hashtag use at a holistic level is imperative to the understanding of the extent of resonance across social media. This study explores the dynamics of the #TaiwanCanHelp hashtag on Twitter by quantifying the public response and uncovering the public opinions around #TaiwanCanHelp. A mixed-methods methodology incorporating time-series analysis, sentiment analysis, spatial analysis, and word clouds has been adopted. Our results reveal that #TaiwanCanHelp has resonated beyond Taiwan and received positive responses from diverse users across the globe. Our findings also suggest that the prominence of #TaiwanCanHelp rides on real-life events and is a successful attempt by the Taiwan government in generating international interest through digitalization of diplomacy to advance Taiwan’s interests.
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