Date of this Version
2012 April 17 in The China Beat http://www.thechinabeat.org/
The last two years have seen much talk about the explosion of social media as a tool of real change, most notably during the Arab Spring. Tunisia’s and Egypt’s revolutions were powered by Twitter and Facebook. Though these sites are blocked in China, Sina’s microblogging platform Weibo has also changed the political game in that country, forcing government accountability after last summer’s high-speed train crash in Wenzhou and contributing to the very public downfall of former Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai. Weibo’s power may also lead to its demise. After rumors of a coup attempt spread recently, the comment function on posts was disabled from March 31 through April 3.