Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The age of microblogging has arrived - in China

Listening to the US's National Public Radio (NPR) last week, I caught a story about how Chinese citizens are now using micro-blogging services (similar to Twitter) to communicate about missing or stolen children and, in some cases to locate them.

According to The Guardian article, Chinese parents turn to microblogging in hunt for missing children, China has over 80 million micro-blog users (though very few Twitter users due to blocking).

By posting messages and pictures of missing children, and by putting photos of child beggars online, there's been at least half a dozen cases where children have been located and reunited with their parents.

In particular a Chinese professor created a microblog called "Street Photos to Rescue Child Beggars" in t.sina.com.cn. The microblog, which was only registered on 25 January this year, has already gained more than 200,000 followers, many being Chinese police officers. Thousands of photos of child beggars have been posted to the micro-blog by Chinese citizens (the criteria is that photos must show the face of the child and the location and time the photo was taken).

Of course the success of the micro-blog medium in China needs to be weighed with continuing government efforts to restrict debate on certain topics - as recently illustrated in this article in The Age, China micro-blogging sites censor 'Egypt'

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1 comment:

  1. Hey, thanks very much for linking to my post.