Finding Equilibrium on the Internet: How Chinese Netizens and the Regime Navigate Social Media Censorship

McKee, Hailey (2019) Finding Equilibrium on the Internet: How Chinese Netizens and the Regime Navigate Social Media Censorship. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Mark Chen from Public Policy Leadership, The University of Mississippi.


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China’s current social media landscape consists of the most users in the world operating within the most extensive governmental censorship apparatus in the world, which over time has created a shaky balance between personal expression and institutional order. This thesis attempts to shed light on an understudied, potentially sensitive topic by exploring the multifaceted relationship between Chinese Internet users and the communist regime in terms of content surveillance. By examining the current Internet environment, assessing the opportunities and challenges the web provides users and the regime, implementing a survey with sixteen Chinese netizens, and conducting a literature review, this thesis posits that the previously described current balance works because of the state’s centuries-long history with censorship and the general support of regulation from Internet users. After expounding upon these topics, this thesis finds that the rising influence of Chinese netizens may result in a detrimental shift in the balance between expression and order, in which censorship should eventually diminish.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: McKee, Hailey
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in Public Policy and Journalism
Thesis Advisor: Mark Chen
Thesis Advisor's Department: Public Policy Leadership
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JX International law
Depositing User: Hailey Hailey McKee
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 04:23
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 04:23

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