Latest News:  
Beijing   Sunny    32 / 21   City Forecast


Two years of Chinese Weibo, highs, lows and all

(Global Times)

08:51, August 29, 2011

Sunday was the second anniversary of Sina Weibo, the microblog site which now counts more than 200 million users. On the same day, a new operation plan that slows down high-speed trains across China has been rolled out since Sunday in response to the deadly bullet train crash in July.

This dual event reflects Weibo's power. In the wake of the bullet train collision, Weibo witnessed an explosion of public skepticism about rescue operations, information transparency and the management of the high-speed rail system.

Demanding Weibo users, who closely followed the incident since the start, helped drive the government response and quicken an official response to the accident. The rescheduled operation plan is partly a result of mounting doubts on Weibo.

The emergence of Weibo promotes public interaction to an unprecedented level and enables limitless discussions on topics like the bullet train crash and the scandal surrounding the Red Cross Society of China. Weibo serves as a watershed mark for China's media environment.

But while heated debates arise on Weibo daily, rumors also multiply at the speed of the light.

After the bullet train clash, a Weibo user's message was widely reposted after claiming that her 100-day old baby was killed during the accident. Some netizens then sent money to comfort her.

However, it was later found out that the Weibo user made up the story and used a fake photo. Rumors stir up a public sense of insecurity, and amplify the gulf between different social classes.

Weibo brings changes to China, with good points and bad. But after all, it is a technological progress and a neutral tool. Those who make poor use of Weibo can become very passive, whereas those who avail themselves of its potential often take the initiative. It is in such a sense that the government and traditional media outlets should actively engage with Weibo.

As Weibo mirrors reality, all the problems that Weibo reflects exist in society. There are at least two things that the government and traditional media can do. First, to face up to these problems and keep the public informed. Second, to regularly publish authoritative information so as to nip rumors in the bud.

Weibo reflects or amplifies the weakness of the real world. A rational atmosphere of conversation is still lacking, and a set of rules, which both ensure Weibo users' freedom of expression and arouse their sense of responsibility, has not been established.

Before becoming a fully efficient, orderly platform, Weibo still has a long way to go. This will not only be a process of Weibo's growth, but also a process that sees greater civil awareness and sense of responsibility develop among average Chinese, as well as smarter governance by authorities.


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Hurricane Irene approaching New York

  2. Pretty hot! Underwear models parade in Kiev

  3. Bayern wins, Cologne stuns Hamburg at German Bundesliga

  4. 7th birthdays of pandas Tuantuan and Yuanyuan celebrated in Taipei

Most Popular


  1. Europe threatened with banking casualties
  2. China to allow foreign direct investment in RMB
  3. French president makes unexpected visit to China
  4. Reflect on negative effects of Libya war
  5. Is over-urbanization causing China's inflation?
  6. Will China repeat Japan's 'lost decade?'
  7. China must be wary of genetically modified food
  8. Tough decade may lie ahead for world economy
  9. US' flooding dollars must not be condoned: scholar
  10. Trial voyage turns 'China threat theory' on its head

What's happening in China

Military training to start college life

  1. Coal mine safety so far this year
  2. Plan sets out details for human rights development and implementation
  3. Ancestral villages all gone with the flow
  4. First official electronic chart in service
  5. Plans for man-made island lead to worries

PD Online Data

  1. The Yi ethnic minority
  2. The Salar ethnic minority
  3. The Tu ethnic minority
  4. The Pumi ethnic minority
  5. The Naxi ethnic minority