June 26, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Deadlines have passed, and hopefully so to has the recent lull on the blog of late. Don’t give up on us yet!
The Washington Post put out a really interesting article today about the use of social media in China, highlighting that microblogging seems to be the tool of choice for those who speak out against the government and some private companies in China. Bonus: the article has a great slide show of China’s microbloogers and who to follow to keep a finger on the pulse of China’s discontents. The slide show got me thinking about social media and change – the Arab Spring, is of course the obvious series of examples, but I’ve put together a short list of other, lesser known examples where social media has acted as a catalyst in countries.
China: A mechanism for protest
Having mentioned the article, I was surprised to hear that the microbloggers featured in the article deal with more specific complaints than I might have realized. For example, Wang Xiaoshan blogs about food safety, particularly the private company Mengniu and fears, after hearing a credible threat, that he will be tortured for addressing this issue in social media. The microblogger Huanguoshan Zonshuji, translated to the “Secretary General of the Flower and Fruit Mountain,” created a microblog tracking corruption but via a very visceral method: showing pictures and finding the prices of expensive watches worn by politicians. It is one thing to call a government corrupt, but to show it so simply is powerful. Both bloggers have reportedly fled the country, though Wang has since returned. « Read the rest of this entry »