Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Blocked on Weibo: Content Regulation in Chinese Social Media", November 1 at Pitt.

A few times a month the University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center hosts hour-long "Asia Over Lunch" brown bag lectures during a weekday lunch hour. On November 1st the topic is "Blocked on Weibo: Content Regulation in Chinese Social Media", by Jason Q. Ng, a graduate student in the East Asian Studies department. It will be held in 4130 Posvar Hall from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. Here's the abstract:
Like most nations, China regulates the content that goes over its airwaves, runs through its printing presses, and is transmitted through its Internet. In July 2009, when tensions in the predominately Muslim population of China’s Xinjiang province escalated into violent riots, Chinese authorities turned off the Internet there. This inspired Jason Q. Ng to devise a computer script to test all 700,000 terms in Chinese Wikipedia to see which ones are routinely blocked on Sina Weibo, China’s most important social media site. Analyzing these censored words serves as a guide to sensitive topics in modern day China and also exposes the fascinating fissures between the idealized society that Chinese authorities dream of having and the actual one that Chinese netizens are creating each day.
And here's the presenter's tumblr site devoted to the topic.