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[liberationtech] Censorship and deletion practices in Chinese social media

Katrin Verclas katrin at
Tue Mar 20 06:46:59 PDT 2012

Might be of interest to the list: 

> Title: Censorship and deletion practices in Chinese social media
> Author: Bamman, O'Connor, Smith
> Source: First Monday
> Date Published: 5th March 2012
> Excerpt:
> '....With Twitter and Facebook blocked in China, the stream of
> information from Chinese domestic social media provides a case study
> of social media behavior under the influence of active censorship.
> While much work has looked at efforts to prevent access to
> information in China (including IP blocking of foreign Web sites or
> search engine filtering), we present here the first large–scale
> analysis of political content censorship in social media, i.e., the
> active deletion of messages published by individuals.
> In a statistical analysis of 56 million messages (212,583 of which
> have been deleted out of 1.3 million checked, more than 16 percent)
> from the domestic Chinese microblog site Sina Weibo, and 11 million
> Chinese–language messages from Twitter, we uncover a set a
> politically sensitive terms whose presence in a message leads to
> anomalously higher rates of deletion. We also note that the rate of
> message deletion is not uniform throughout the country, with
> messages originating in the outlying provinces of Tibet and Qinghai
> exhibiting much higher deletion rates than those from eastern areas
> like Beijing......'

Full paper here:

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