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What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
What has China's earthquake done to its internet?
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What has China's earthquake done to its internet?

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Presented by Deborah Fallows at the Chinese Internet Research Conference. People say the Chinese internet is mostly an entertainment network. But looking at what happened online during the aftermath …

Presented by Deborah Fallows at the Chinese Internet Research Conference. People say the Chinese internet is mostly an entertainment network. But looking at what happened online during the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake reveals a Chinese internet with a depth and soul and much, much more. 6/13/2008

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  • Abstract: What has China’s earthquake done to its internet? What have we seen and what should we look for? People say the Chinese internet is mostly an entertainment network. But looking at what happened online during the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake reveals a Chinese internet with a depth and soul and much, much more. Post-earthquake, the Chinese internet was rich in news and comment; it displayed new, creative applications; and spoke in a more tempered, unified voice. Was this a breakthrough moment to a more robust, mature Chinese internet? We can learn from a similar experience on the American internet, which also showed big online changes following the events of September 11. Some effects evaporated; others stuck. We can watch for lasting effects on the Chinese internet, including by focusing on the popular myth that Chinese users chafe under internet controls and management. The evidence suggests not for now, but will this myth become a reality as the Chinese internet appreciates its own new strength?
  • Transcript

    • 1. What has China’s earthquake done to its internet? What have we seen and what should we look for? Chinese Internet Research Conference Hong Kong, June 13, 2008 Deborah Fallows, Pew Internet Project
    • 2. China’s internet: two old myths and a new reality <ul><li>Myth: China’s internet is all about entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>New Reality: China’s internet is about much, much more, as revealed by the earthquake </li></ul><ul><li>Myth #2: China’s internet users chafe under internet control and management. </li></ul><ul><li>New Reality: Could the old myth become true, in a new online world triggered by the earthquake? </li></ul>
    • 3. A work in progress, in 3 parts: <ul><li>From the moment the earthquake occurred, what have we noticed about the Chinese internet? </li></ul><ul><li>What can we learn from the American internet experience after the events of Sept. 11? </li></ul><ul><li>What should we look for on the Chinese internet over the next year? </li></ul>
    • 4. How did China’s internet respond to the earthquake? <ul><li>Immediate and first response: with news, information, and comments </li></ul><ul><li>Unique aggregator of content: photos, info, comments </li></ul><ul><li>New applications: built-to-order for this event (searching, locating, connecting, donating) </li></ul><ul><li>Humanizer: People-to-people, people-to-places, people-to-helping </li></ul>
    • 5. What were the voice and tone of the post-earthquake internet <ul><li>A more unified voice (of shock) </li></ul><ul><li>A more humane tone: more tempered, less strident and cynical </li></ul><ul><li>More spiritual/religious </li></ul><ul><li>Powerfully shocking through images and videos </li></ul><ul><li>Unedited, less censored? </li></ul>
    • 6. Other internet moments <ul><li>3 minutes of internet silence. (Google search goes dark) </li></ul><ul><li>Reported arrests of 17 internet users spreading “false rumors” </li></ul><ul><li>Attack on the selfish “why is this such a big deal” blogger </li></ul><ul><li>Real-time, online-video of long-distance wedding </li></ul><ul><li>Self-congratulatory, then quick self-criticism on twitter </li></ul>
    • 7. &nbsp;
    • 8. What do these observations say about the state of the Chinese internet? <ul><li>Energy spent on value: immediacy, connections, collections, creativity, new knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Displayed maturity: users did all these things instinctively, quickly, generously </li></ul><ul><li>Moment of validation? </li></ul>
    • 9. Post-shock return to “normal” <ul><li>Regained footing of various voices </li></ul><ul><li>First to ask the hard questions, make critical comments </li></ul><ul><li>The dark side: Looking to make a buck </li></ul><ul><li>Fun gone, then returned </li></ul>
    • 10. American internet immediately after Sept. 11 <ul><li>A supplement, not a substitute: most go to TV (usership down 10% Sept. 11, 17% first week) </li></ul><ul><li>Use: Pushing out the tragedy experience. Use up in looking for news, IM, gov websites, charities and donations, online communities </li></ul><ul><li>Content: Event dominated the online content </li></ul><ul><li>Voice: Telling the story together: new “online journalists” and beefing up the commons </li></ul>
    • 11. American internet 6 months after Sept. 11 <ul><li>Changed habits, interests, and tone: </li></ul><ul><li>more users going online for news </li></ul><ul><li>more interest in gov/politics </li></ul><ul><li>more community participation </li></ul><ul><li>more spiritual expression </li></ul><ul><li>everything else returned to normal </li></ul>
    • 12. Will there be lasting effects of the earthquake on China’s internet? <ul><li>Did the earthquake trigger a “breakthrough moment” for China’s internet? </li></ul><ul><li>Will changes during the earthquake time make for new habits, interests, a different tone? </li></ul><ul><li>Will there be a change in people’s attitudes toward the internet? </li></ul><ul><li>Will there be a change in government oversight of the internet? </li></ul>
    • 13. Case Study: China’s internet controls. What do users think? <ul><li>Data points: &gt;80% of China’s internet users think the internet should be managed or controlled; almost 85% think the government should be responsible for controls </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons: Distrust online content. Anxiety over bad influences from the internet, especially for children. Accustomed to government being the controller </li></ul>
    • 14. How to look for lasting effects (And revisit the old myths) <ul><li>Look for differences in online behavior and voice (more people trying to push more?) </li></ul><ul><li>Look for government reactions (online control, offline regulations) </li></ul><ul><li>Watch media reporting about the internet </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the survey questions again </li></ul>
    • 15. Keep this in mind, and let’s talk next year. <ul><li>Thank you </li></ul><ul><li>Deborah Fallows </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.Pewinternet.org </li></ul>

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