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Article: Why Does China Allow Freer Social Media? Protests Versus Surveillance And Propaganda

TitleWhy Does China Allow Freer Social Media? Protests Versus Surveillance And Propaganda
Authors
Issue Date2017
PublisherAmerican Economic Association. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.aeaweb.org/jep/
Citation
Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2017, v. 31 n. 1, p. 117-140 How to Cite?
AbstractIn this paper, we document basic facts regarding public debates about controversial political issues on Chinese social media. Our documentation is based on a dataset of 13.2 billion blog posts published on Sina Weibo--the most prominent Chinese microblogging platform--during the 2009-2013 period. Our primary finding is that a shockingly large number of posts on highly sensitive topics were published and circulated on social media. For instance, we find millions of posts discussing protests, and these posts are informative in predicting the occurrence of specific events. We find an even larger number of posts with explicit corruption allegations, and that these posts predict future corruption charges of specific individuals. Our findings challenge a popular view that an authoritarian regime would relentlessly censor or even ban social media. Instead, the interaction of an authoritarian government with social media seems more complex.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/244426
ISSN
2017 Impact Factor: 5.607
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 6.077
SSRN
ISI Accession Number ID

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorQin, B-
dc.contributor.authorStromberg, D-
dc.contributor.authorWu, Y-
dc.date.accessioned2017-09-18T01:52:14Z-
dc.date.available2017-09-18T01:52:14Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationJournal of Economic Perspectives, 2017, v. 31 n. 1, p. 117-140-
dc.identifier.issn0895-3309-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/244426-
dc.description.abstractIn this paper, we document basic facts regarding public debates about controversial political issues on Chinese social media. Our documentation is based on a dataset of 13.2 billion blog posts published on Sina Weibo--the most prominent Chinese microblogging platform--during the 2009-2013 period. Our primary finding is that a shockingly large number of posts on highly sensitive topics were published and circulated on social media. For instance, we find millions of posts discussing protests, and these posts are informative in predicting the occurrence of specific events. We find an even larger number of posts with explicit corruption allegations, and that these posts predict future corruption charges of specific individuals. Our findings challenge a popular view that an authoritarian regime would relentlessly censor or even ban social media. Instead, the interaction of an authoritarian government with social media seems more complex.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherAmerican Economic Association. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.aeaweb.org/jep/-
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Economic Perspectives-
dc.rightsJournal of Economic Perspectives. Copyright © American Economic Association.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.titleWhy Does China Allow Freer Social Media? Protests Versus Surveillance And Propaganda-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailQin, B: beiqin@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityQin, B=rp01792-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.1257/jep.31.1.117-
dc.identifier.hkuros278569-
dc.identifier.volume31-
dc.identifier.issue1-
dc.identifier.spage117-
dc.identifier.epage140-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000393699100006-
dc.publisher.placeUnited States-
dc.identifier.ssrn2910223-

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