China’s Leadership is Embracing Social Media
With the popularity of social media growing in China, it’s no surprise that the government is jumping on the bandwagon. With many of the worlds most popular social networking sites being cloned in China, the government is finding it easier to push their agenda on the right people. Using services like Sina Weibo they’re also hoping to be viewed differently by the public by adding a face to the government.
Watch the story unfolding in the media about change gripping the Middle East and North Africa and you could be forgiven for assuming that Twitter and other social media are progressive new tools that spell doom for authoritarian governments everywhere. Social media may of course be a “critical tool,” but the most critical question of all is about who is using these tools — and how.
The debate over whether the Internet and social media promote change — read “positive and democratic” change — or not is often couched in terms of “cyber-optimism” (or “cyber-utopianism”) versus “cyber-pragmatism” (is there a “cyber-cynicism” too?). Some have written about “networked authoritarianism” and the possibility that new communication technologies might actually help to sustain repressive regimes. – CMP
Read the rest of the article over at CMP.