Friday, December 7, 2012

OLLI Course

I've posted my slideshow PowerPoint presentation slides from the OLLI course at UMass Boston which I recently finished teaching entitled "How the Internet has Changed Political Participation in China." The presentation includes the slides from all six lessons and discussions.

Chinese Internet Activists

After a sex tape went viral last week depicting Chongqing district party chief Lei Zhengfu having sex with an eighteen-year-old girl, the official was quickly fired from his position while Zhu Ruifeng, the netizen who shared the video on his website, was praised for his internet activism.

The incident has since been praised by Chinese media. Below are some snippets from this article by the Voice of America:

In an editorial published Tuesday, the state-run China Daily newspaper welcomed what it called the "prowess" of Zhu and other activists who use the Internet as a "tool against abusive officials."

It said Lei's case shows the effectiveness of social media in triggering government action, and it urged anti-corruption leaders to "embrace" Internet activists as a "close ally." China's main anti-corruption agency issued a statement Monday saying it recognizes a need for authorities to "seriously address" corruption problems "reported by the masses."

And some skepticism:

"For the central government, Internet activism ... that singles out a few 'bad apples' [corrupt officials] is fine, but political and social red lines remain," said Galperin, an international freedom of expression coordinator at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Allowing [such] activism does not mean, for example, that Tibetan activists will see any increased tolerance."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Spelling Out Human Flesh Search

Sorry I've been absent the past few months. Not only have I been working tirelessly on my M.A. thesis focusing on aspects of Human Flesh Search (particularly it's context with recent Cultural Revolution-memory revivalism on the Chinese Internet), but I also finished up my OLLI course on the Chinese Internet and HFS, and the discussions that came out of that course were particularly insightful in how to present HFS and it's context to a western audience.

As such, I wanted to point out two great articles which seek to bring HFS to a western audience by both defining the term and explaining how HFS is structured and how it functions:

What a “Human Flesh Search” Is, And How It’s Changing China over at Tea Leaf Nation, and a follow-up to this piece delving deeper into some of HFS's mechanics over at 八八吧 :: 88 Bar, which specifically mentions the categories which my research has placed HFS cases into.