As remarkable as it was, about half a decade ago, the then U.K prime minister made a remarkable speech in which he envisioned the role of technology can drive a needy society for a healthy transformation. We have witnessed the wave in Arab spring, or elsewhere. The following article by Mary Kay Magistad on Yale Global online brings us the a brief side of the role of the technology in social transformation. Today it is China, but tomorrow could be elsewhere. World is changing, constantly and evolves continuously.
Weibo, China’s microblog that’s celebrating its third anniversary this month, offers a national platform for ordinary citizens to hold the powerful to account. In an instant, an ordinary citizen can launch a public debate or shame government and corporate officials by posting photos, videos, comments and messages. Weibo has some 350 million users, and China’s leaders are torn between appreciating Weibo’s capability to gauge public opinion and resisting public scrutiny, reports Beijing-based journalist Mary Kay Magistad. The microblog tool has opened a new battleground among Chinese authorities, internet companies and citizens – all testing the other’s boundaries and resolve to criticize, censor and self-censor. Weibo has become the voice of millions of Chinese, stepping up to offer suggestions, some impulsive and others more organized, on their society’s many challenges. Government officials are finding that rapid, reasonable response to valid criticisms is better received than censorship. – YaleGlobal
Full text is here.