Dynamic Map of Chinese Unrest

The Chinese Twitter equivalent Weibo censors searches for the names of places where there are protests (currently Shenzhen). You could write a script that searches for the main Chinese cities on Weibo and plots the ones that are censored on a map. Presto, a dynamic map of Chinese political unrest! With data supplied by the Chinese government, no less. Who will do it first?

Update same day: Daniel Becking points to the highly informative web site Blocked On Weibo. It has a wide remit. The most recent entry explains why the two characters for “pantyhose” are blocked.

Comments

  1. #1 Birger Johansson
    September 16, 2012

    These fuckers are setting themselves up for a bloody overthrow. With all the moderates purged from the Party after the Tianmen massacre, they are left with censorship and intimidation as tools for survival.
    When the global warming eventually makes the crops fail countrywide they will follow the fate of all other Chinese dynasties in times of drought. Mao had the kind of control that allowed him to let 40 million starve to death. These clowns, not so much.

  2. #2 Art
    September 17, 2012

    The Party allowing capitalism has helped as some benefits have trickled down to the poor but, as within any party controlled nation, the benefits have been very uneven and will always greatly favor the establishment. The inequality, and flagrant abuse by the ‘princelings’ has raised resentments and anger of the larger population previously satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table but no practical way of improving their situation.

    A more open political system would allow the populous to enjoy at least the illusion of being able to improve the context of their lives. But the Part will not, may not be capable of, allowing that amenity.

    The dissatisfaction and disappointment of the wider, poorer, population in the face of a lack of both economic and political opportunity is growing. IMO it is just a matter of time before the need and capability to maintain control will be too far apart to bridge with the resources at hand.

    The weakness of China has always been their massive population spread across a huge expanse, both physically and culturally. They are naturally divided by tribe, language, and culture. The modern Chinese state sought to suppress these divisions, and succeeded in manufacturing a functional and central Chinese identity of “the people” expressed through the The Party but the recent free-market advances have lately served to highlight the inequalities and lack of justice.

  3. #3 John Massey
    September 17, 2012

    It was an anti-Japanese protest. Parallel protests have been going on in Beijing (where marchers were carrying a large photograph of Chairman Mao), Qingdao, Shanghai, Hong Kong and several other Chinese cities.

    As bloody overthrows go, it’s all been pretty bloody disappointing, really.

    Compare and contrast with Sydney, where NSW police are seeking federal police assistance to track down the computer used to issue messages instigating the violent anti-American protest there.

    Off-topic, is there a reason why ‘Recent Comments’ just keep referencing comments on ‘Hubbard’s Caveman’ instead of erm recent comments?

  4. #4 John Massey
    September 17, 2012

    Forget that last comment – my Recent Comments just updated themselves.

  5. #5 John Massey
    September 17, 2012

    Update – anti-Japanese demonstrations are continuing in >60 Chinese cities. It would be interesting to know if Weibo has blocked all of them.

  6. #6 Birger Johansson
    September 17, 2012

    (OT) Skeptic bat signal ! “Polish ‘Exorcists’ Get Their Own Magazine” WTF!!! http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/09/16/polish-exorcists-get-their-own-magazine/
    So… if you get no academic job, just get a degree in Demonology and go to Poland?

  7. #7 Jason
    September 17, 2012

    Neat idea, but unfortunately, many terms with Chinese cities names in them are blocked for months and even years after the initial protest took place in the city. It’s the ongoing recriminations that the authorities hope to suppress. (Also, would be pretty tough to block all posts with “Beijing” or “Shanghai” or any city’s name in them. Must be more specific. See for instance: http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2011/10/the-%E2%80%9Coccupy%E2%80%9D-series-sina-weibo%E2%80%99s-new-list-of-banned-search-terms/

    (I run Blocked on Weibo. Thanks for the plug!)

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