- Sogou CEO Admitted Talks with Qihoo on Potential InvestmentPosted 6 days ago
- Taobao Turns Ten Today: A Look BackPosted 9 days ago
- Alibaba Invests US$294 million for 28% of AutoNavi, Becoming Its Biggest ShareholderPosted 9 days ago
- [Updated]Baidu Acquires PPS for $370 million in Cash, Will Merge It Into iQiyiPosted 13 days ago
- Alibaba Confirms Investment in Sina Weibo, Taking An 18% Stake for $586 millionPosted 20 days ago
Sina Weibo's social impact: help to reconnect families in Japan's Earthquake
I read an article in local news today. It said, as soon as the 9 magnitude earthquake shook Japan Friday, posts on Sina Weibo (or the Chinese Twitter) shoot up in China. 4.5 million messages related to the earthquake were posted on Sina Weibo, as of 6pm of Mar 11 or four hours after Japan’s earthquake.
Out of which, 300,000 were sent from micro-bloggers in Japan, possibly, from Chinese students or workers living in Japan. Moreover, 12,000 Sina Weibo users have set up a group called “Japan’s earthquake helps and contacts in Chinese” to facilitate people seeking missing family members and other information related to the relief efforts. (Here is an article in the local media: http://tech.sina.com.cn/i/2011-03-14/21465283908.shtml)
Social impacts of microblog has well been documented. Twitter has played some important roles for people seeking their family members or looking for helps, in the times of disasters. Unsurprisingly, Sina Weibo is playing a similar role in Japan’s earthquake, given the proximity of the two countries.
With its popularity in China, Sina Weibo is used to fight social problems, too. I read another news earlier. It is about people using Sina Weibo for anti-human-trafficking. There are a lot of children in China, who are abducted from their families and forced to be beggars on the streets. An university professor (Professor Yu Jianrong of Institute of Rural Development, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) posted a message on Sina Weibo just before Chinese New Year (Jan 25), asking people to take photos of children beggars on the streets and post the photos on Sina Weibo, so that, their families can locate them. Many people responded and it became a social movement. In three weeks, more than 220,000 people joined the campaign, six missing children have been found, and one family has been reunited.
(Here is an article about it from China Daily U.S.:http://newamericamedia.org/2011/02/twitter-in-china-save-abducted-children-4.php)
Even the Chinese government responded. The rescue of abducted children has become a priority in this year’s national congress. Government officials have pledged they would tender proposals on the issue.
I am glad that social network can play a role in solving China’s social problems. However, I am afraid once people’s attention switches and their interests decrease, the movement will discontinue and the problem of abducted children will deteriorate again.
You may also Read:
- Internet In Peace, Three Days Mourning For The Victims Of Earthquake
- Top Sina Microblogger gets 5 million followers
- Weibo Is the Mass Communication Platform Beyond the Media, Said General Director of Sina HongKong
- Popularity of Sina Weibo will soon exceed Twitter
- 50 Millions Users, Sina To Launch Weibo.com For Its Microblogging Service