Mass (On)Line

Hu Jintao participated in an online discussion today (his first) with Chinese netizens where he answered questions about his online habits (he emphasized that he uses the internet to see what Chinese people think about the Communist Party—the mass line for a new generation). When NPR broadcast a report on Hu’s online summit this morning, they noted that Hu met with Chinese “netizens,” and then proceeded to define the term. Regardless of whether “netizen” is a new term to you, or you are a netizen, here are a few additional readings and source pages about the Chinese internet.

1. A roundtable discussion between John Palfrey, Rebecca MacKinnon, Jeremy Goldkorn, and Yan Sham-Shackleton on “The Struggle to Control Information.” It accompanied the broadcast two years ago of Frontline’s “Tankman.”

2. A report on the Wall Street Journal’s China Journal on Chinese bloggers’ tendency to challenge authority.

3. This story from last fall in the San Francisco Chronicle about virtual “cybercops.”

4. James Fallows’ March 2008 report on the Chinese internet (and its limitations) for The Atlantic.

5. A report on internet activism in China by Guobin Yang.

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