Hello everyone, my project is to compare the content differences between Chinese and American social media to see how information has been censored in China. Besides the blocking of foreign websites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) which is notorious as “Chinese Great Wall”, Chinese government also takes practice to automatically block or delete sensitive information on Internet. As social media is playing an increasingly important role in our daily life, it is necessary to emphasize the equal and transparent access to information on social media. In order to figure out how information is censored in China, I will collect data both on Chinese and American social media to see the differences.
I have selected two main “key words” to do the research and they are “Dalai Lama” and “Falungong”. I will search these two key words on Chinese and American social media respectively. And I have picked up two sets of social media to study—the first set focuses on social networking sites (Twitter and Weibo); the second set focuses on video resources ( Youtube and Youku).
Dalai Lama is a politically sensitive figure in China because he advocates for independence in Tibet. My previous conception about Dalai Lama is that he is a traitor who intends to tear apart our country for his own interests. The reason is that all the information that I gained from Chinese social media is negative about Dalai Lama. Not until I came to the States that I realized that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Here are the screenshots of the results I gained using Chinese and American searching browser respectively.
Differences on social networking sites—–Twitter(American) VS Weibo (Chinese)
(I got these two screenshots on Twitter. I was surprised to find out that when I searched for “Dalai Lama” on Twitter, a bunch of related messages was popping up. For example, although Dalai Lama has an official Twitter account, there are so many other related accounts which talk about his quotes and values. And I was also surprised to see that most of my professors are following Dalai Lama, who has got 10.4 million followers. )
(This was the screenshot I got from Weibo. When I searched for “Dalai Lama”, I did not get any related information. And it said that “according to laws and regulations on Internet in China, what you searched cannot be shown legally”. Below this “warning”, there is a suggestion: “please try to change your keywords and search again.” )
Similarly, the same things happened on Youtube and Youku.