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Who is shaping China's online public opinion?

By Zhang Yin (People's Daily)

17:06, October 26, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

China is undergoing a media revolution, and Internet is at the center. New media is changing the environment of public opinion, rebuilding public life, offering every member of society the opportunity to express and enable ordinary individuals to speak aloud. Who is shaping China's public opinion now?

Reporter: Today, the government and the masses both are well aware of the impact of online public opinion. Internet has become a platform for various groups to promote their interests, particularly vulnerable groups seeking to preserve their basic rights. China has entered into an "era of the mass microphone." However, the sources of the online public opinion are very complicated.

Wang Yukai: One difference between the Internet era and the past is that the government could easily shape public opinion through mainstream media in the past. However, more voices have emerged in the era of Internet, which has remarkably changed the situation.

Zhu Huaxin: The 1990s was an era of the BBS. During the period, outstanding BBS sites such as Tianya Forum and the Strong Nation Forum under People's Daily Online emerged where ordinary Internet users could fully express ideas and offer feedback. Currently, China has entered into the era of microblogging. It must first be admitted that diversified opinions are a common feature of public opinion platforms. This is a prerequisite for further discussions of how to make the environment of online public opinion healthier and sounder.

Yu Guoming: Traditional media was a means of one person communicating with many, but the Internet is a many-to-many communication platform that can give everybody an equal chance to express his or her opinions. With the microblog, any specific issue in any place could attract attention from almost every microblogger.

Han Liyong: The biggest difference between online public opinion transmitted via microblog and traditional online public opinion can be found in the special features of the microblog's communication functions: First, the speed at which information is spread on microblogs is more rapid, and the channels used to spread information are much more diversified. Second, the microblog's social interaction function is very powerful. In addition, many Chinese governmental officials have realized the communication function and social value of the microblog. In the past, few governmental officials opened microblogs, but now a great number of them already have their own.

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Leave your comment3 comments

  1. Name

blabla at 2011-11-04221.221.172.*
don't really get the point...
PD User at 2011-11-02114.241.184.*
Money and only money is shaping public opinion...
Max at 2011-10-31175.140.147.*
Who is shaping China's online public opinion? Yheanswer is obvious : Washington's soclpuppets and trolls under the payroll of the Pentagon and CIA.

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