Social media, an open space for the public's opinion and expression, has become an increasingly essential issue in crisis events, leading to secondary crisis communication. Realizing the potential risk of that, this study took the “Occupy Central” spreading on Weibo as a case, and applied topic clustering and sentiment analysis to examine the sequential characteristics of secondary crisis communication on social media in topics and emotions. Results show that the topics Weibo users discussed shifted from a political event to tourism boycott, with emotions turning increasingly negative. The turning point of such a transfer was aroused group conflicts and negative emotions elicited between people from mainland China and Hong Kong. The results indicate the necessity of emphasizing secondary crisis communication during a crisis due to the dynamic and sequential change of topics and public's emotions, which may result in new crises impacting the tourism destination where the initial crisis occurs.
Secondary crisis communication on social media is essential to crisis management.
The public's online participation promotes secondary crisis communication.
The topics Weibo users discussed about Occupy Central shifted to a tourism boycott.
The turning point was the group conflicts aroused and negative emotions elicited.
Therefore, secondary crisis communication may potentially threaten tourism destinations.