“Our Media”?

Microblogging and the Elusiveness of Voice in China

Authored by: Cara Wallis , Xi Cui

The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138940918
eBook ISBN: 9781315673974
Adobe ISBN: 9781317377788


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Much attention paid to the Chinese Internet has focused on two areas: the formation of online communities and modes of sociality (Damm 2007; Giese 2004; Hjorth and Gu 2012), and the role of the Internet in the transforming relationship between state and society in a tightly regulated media environment (Yang 2009; Zheng 2008). 1 With the appearance of microblogging (Weibo in Chinese), especially Sina Weibo (“China’s Twitter”), which launched in 2009, much scholarship has tended to focus on this latter area. 2 Academics in and outside China have analyzed the use of Weibo (used interchangeably with microblog hereafter) during societal crises to spread information, expose government corruption, and/or force greater transparency and accountability from the party-state (Bondes and Schucher 2014; Qu et al. 2011; Yang 2013). During such extraordinary events, microblogging has indeed served as a platform for citizens to have a voice that is heard even in the midst of official media censorship.

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