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12 days ago by mozlingyu
Why Autocrats Sometimes Relax Censorship: Signaling Government Responsiveness on Chinese Social Media #research
From the abstract: "Despite China’s robust censorship capacity, commentary critical of government policies on Chinese social media is ubiquitous. Why would an autocratic regime not fully censor these critiques? We argue that authoritarian leaders periodically relax control to persuade the public that the regime acknowledges citizens’ concerns and will address them. This affords state actors a responsiveness benefit to weigh alongside other factors, including collective action risk or reputational harm. To illustrate, we use a combination of human- and computer-assisted coding techniques to statistically model censorship of relevant posts on the Chinese microblog Weibo during a high-profile air pollution controversy in 2012. We find two distinct trends in censorship around a crisis event during which the state largely relaxes control. After the crisis, leaders adjust to allow some limited critiques, while blocking directly disparaging remarks. This suggests that the state changes censorship in order to signal responsiveness to citizens’ legitimate concerns over governance." - Elizabeth Plantan and Christopher Cairns, Cornell University
otf  china  asia  weibo  censorship 
5 weeks ago by dmcdev
China's WeChat, Weibo and Baidu under investigation
It's not just foreign social media platforms that face difficulties in China: Chinese social media platforms are now also under fire: "China says it is investigating its largest social media platforms - Weibo, WeChat and Baidu Tieba - for alleged violations of cyber security laws. The Cyberspace Administration said people had been using the three platforms to spread terror-related material, rumours and obscenities. The breaches 'jeopardised national security,' the administration said." - BBC
otf  china  asia  censorship  social  wechat  weibo  baidu  gfw 
5 weeks ago by dmcdev
The Chinese Language as a Weapon: How China’s Netizens Fight Censorship
"Since July 13, Weibo has blocked all mentions of the name 'Liu Xiaobo,' the phrase 'R.I.P.,' and even the candle emoticon. Searches for his name on many other sites would turn up empty. But at the same time, seemingly at random, came an influx of posts mentioning a certain 'Wang Xiaobo' and another 'Teacher Liu' — which were both, of course, cryptic nicknames for the late Nobel laureate.

'Wang Xiaobo' simply switches out Liu’s last name. But “Teacher Liu” has a more ingenious derivation. Since Liu is the fourth most common Chinese last name and Chinese students address their teachers with the prefix 'Teacher,' it’s the rough equivalent of giving someone the English pseudonym 'Mr. Smith.' This poses a problem for censors, as the epithet makes it quite difficult to algorithmically discern whether or not a user was referring to their grade-school math teacher or the controversial Teacher Liu." - Jeanette Si, Internet Monitor
otf  china  censorship  language  gfw  asia  liuxiaobo  foe  speech  social  weibo 
8 weeks ago by dmcdev
Liu Xiaobo’s Death Pushes China’s Censors Into Overdrive
Covering CItizen Lab's report on censorship following the death of dissident Liu Xiaobo, Amy Qin of the New York Times writes: "In one experiment, researchers at the Citizen Lab found that a photo of Liu Xiaobo posted to an international user’s WeChat social media feed was visible to other users abroad but was hidden from users with Chinese accounts.

The heightened — yet uneven — censorship in recent days has elicited frustration and confusion among Mr. Liu’s supporters.

On the day after Mr. Liu’s death, one user posted on his WeChat feed: '‘Did you see what I just sent?’ ‘No, I can’t see it.’ For the last two days, this has been the constant question and answer among friends.'"
otf  china  asia  censorship  citizenlab  liuxiaobo  foe  wechat  weibo  gfw 
9 weeks ago by dmcdev
Remembering Liu Xiaobo: Analyzing censorship of the death of #LiuXiaobo on WeChat and Weibo - @citizenlab
New Citizen Lab report analyzes censorship following the death of Liu Xiaobo, including the first known instance of image censorship in group chats: "The scope of censorship of keywords and images on WeChat related to Liu Xiaobo expanded greatly after his death. Our analysis of WeChat keyword-based censorship shows that after his death messages containing his name in English and in both simplified and traditional Chinese are blocked. His death is also the first time we see image filtering in one-to-one chat, in addition to image filtering in group chats and WeChat moments." Access the full report here:
otf  citizenlab  china  asia  liuxiaobo  gfw  censorship  wechat  weibo 
9 weeks ago by dmcdev
China Reducing Massive Influence of Social Media Celebrities
"China is trying to contain the awesome influence of social media celebrities, some of whom have tens of millions of followers that dwarf more Western media icons like Oprah Winfrey. For example, the top 10 Chinese celebrities on Internet have between 67 million and 90 million online followers.

Recent weeks have seen the closure of social media accounts of several celebrities while the Beijing Cyber Administration (BCA) shut down the accounts of 60 celebrity gossip magazines. It also asked Internet portals hosting these accounts to 'adopt effective measures to keep in check the problems of the embellishment of private sex scandals of celebrities, the hyping of ostentatious celebrity spending and entertainment, and catering to the poor taste of the public.'" - Saibal Dasgupta, Voice of America
otf  china  asia  gfw  social  censorship  access  weibo  oprah 
10 weeks ago by dmcdev
China’s Weibo blocks potential criticism of Vladimir Putin
"Beijing has blocked any mention of Vladimir Putin on popular posts on Sina Weibo, the Twitter-like microblogging service, giving Russia’s president an immunity from public criticism usually reserved for China’s Communist party elite.

The censorship was enforced at the weekend as US President Donald Trump met Mr Putin during the G20 summit in Germany, and underlines the current golden period of China-Russian relations.

China’s President Xi Jinping visited Moscow this month, revealing a $10bn investment fund and gushing that it was the “best time in history” for Sino-Russian relations and the two countries were each others’ 'most trustworthy strategic partners'." - Sherry Fei Ju, Financial Times
otf  china  russia  speech  weibo  access  censorship  gfw  asia  bypasschina  putin 
10 weeks ago by dmcdev
Chinese site Weibo to ban 'bad talk' about Chinese affairs - CNET
- not clear if this is an addition move on top of the recent regulations to clean up the web
weibo  china  legal  totwitter 
11 weeks ago by renaissancechambara

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