would know about this event through newspapers (such as the one from the New York Times) or
eyewitness accounts. However, eventually the evidence of an event like this would disappear in a
nation where anything that would lead to a social movement is censored.
The main reason oppressive governments aim specifically at preventing social
movements from developing is due to the fact that they have the ability to change said society.
There are countless examples of social movements that directly lead to drastic change, including
the American civil rights movements, the Indian nationalist movement, and the women’s suffrage
movement in America. Should a government allow these types of social movements to develop,
then it can be said that the government is not oppressive. When activism utilizes new
technologies in attempting to change society, if a government is to remain oppressive, it must
react and counter-act these movements. This leads to the next topic of defining China as one of
these oppressive governments and to show its reaction to social movements going virtual.
III. China 's adoption of new technologies to prevent virtual social movements
To understand how oppressive
governments react to virtual social
movements, it becomes necessary to
viewsome examples of online activism.
Anyone who is familiar with the tank man
at Tianenmen Square will instantly
recognize what this image is referring to.
The four rubber ducks were originally four tanks that the man was standing in front of to prevent
their further advances. What is even more interesting about this particular image which was
posted onto Weibo.com, is that it was posted on J...
... middle of paper ...
... state. Someone can raise the point against the previous data that
collective action is always critical of the state and therefore virtual social movements are banned.
However, this is altogether wrong. In King 's research, from all the posts that had the ability to
spark collective action, both posts that were critical and supportive of the government were
censored at a whopping 80% (337). When compared to the amount of censorship that occurs for
posts that have very little ability to spark collective action, both the supportive and critical posts
were censored at an equal 10% (337). This rules out the idea that the government looks to censor
negative criticism. Instead the government seeks to prohibit activism in general, which would
otherwise cause social change. This is direct evidence of the Chinese government taking action
against a new form of social movements.
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