Firewall China: the Internet and Social Media

5 September 2011

Co-presented withSydney Ideasand the Australian Centre on China inthe World at Australian National University.

The Chinese internet is fundamentally different from the internet most westerners experience. It is highly controlled and censored. Blog posts, newspaper reports, and even government propaganda articles and videos sometimes disappear without any notice. Chinese internet users are very cynical, often believing that anything reported in the official and commercial media is likely to be a lie.

In this talk, Jeremy Goldkorn, founder of Danwei, will discuss the internet community and social media in China. He argues that, falsehoods, rumors and unreliable information are equally common on the internet, but for breaking news and critical commentary, there is no other place for Chinese citizens.

A very current example: you could find out more about the bullet train crash of July 23 that has killed at least 40 people on Weibo ("China's Twitter") than you could in the official media. And the most reliable death toll and list of victims is currently being compiled as online, in a shared Google doc.

Jeremy Goldkorn founded the popular China media website in 2003, tracking the changes in China's media and internet on a daily basis with translations, original articles, videos and blog posts.

Goldkorn's writing has appeared in many Chinese and foreign publications including The Guardian, The New York Times, Life (生活), and Cosmopolitan's China edition (时尚杂志), covering a range of subjects from media regulation, internet business, freedom of expression, the habits of young Chinese internet users Sino-African affairs, the Great Wall and Chinese consumer culture. Public Affairs Asia magazine called Goldkorn "one of China's most prolific and powerful social media commentators."

Jeremy Goldkorn is a Beijing-based associate of the Australian Centre on China in the World at ANU.

Time: 6pm

Location: New Law School Foyer

Cost: FREE

Contact: Shuxia Chen

Email: 1d1f20343e575c2b2926147140365014520f164a4b2078102d