Best Of The Web
“China is often described as ruthless and dystopian. Escalating censorship, intensified propaganda and the social credit system present a threatening new mode of Internet governance to the West, one where the freewheeling World Wide Web seems “captured” by the Chinese Communist Party.
Such increases in control, however, do not tell the whole story. Since the inception and spread of the Internet in China, the Chinese party-state has attempted to use the Internet for governance and legitimacy-building as well as for weeding out sensitive information. Chinese President Xi Jinping has referred to the Internet as a “battlefield” where the party struggles to sway public opinion. And that effort means that alongside control, Chinese authorities scrupulously listen to and study public opinion online, engage with and respond to public grievances, and creatively mobilize the public through interactive social media tools.
Grasping public sentiment has long been at the heart of the party’s governance. In the pre-Internet age, it was primarily the traditional media that filtered public concerns upwards to the party. In the Internet age, the public opinion platform has expanded and decentralized, with streams of social media commentaries available for “study” to both officials and journalists. In my book, “Media Politics in China,” I found that Chinese media regulators closely analyze social media content when shaping media policy. Censorship and propaganda instructions to journalists correspond to the popularity of certain issues on social media, with more popular topics provoking both restrictions and timelier policy responses. For instance, following the 2012 Beijing floods, which took many innocent lives, the authorities banned the media from investigating the disaster despite public outrage on Weibo. Instead, they used the media to channel official responses to public concerns, such as addressing infrastructure complaints and explaining rescue efforts.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"With the weakest of hands, an economy not much larger than that of Spain, and a GDP per capita several thousand dollars smaller than Malaysia, he has asserted massive negative influence over the globalized world."
"Scarcely hours after the titanic drubbing Democrats delivered to President Trump's GOP in the 2018 midterm elections, the 2020 presidential campaign began in deeply unwelcome earnest."
"US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital exactly one year ago, breaking with decades of international consensus in the process. What was the historic move and what impact has it had?"
"With a decade’s worth of hits under her belt, Gaga is definitively one of the biggest stars in the world. Rolling Stone dubbed her the “Queen of Pop” in 2011."
"Have the scars of the housing bust turned us away from the American dream of homeownership? Survey data suggest otherwise.... We simply can’t afford to pursue that dream right now.'
"Even as phones and tablets extend their reach into daily life, a bigger screen remains supreme... the average American household watches nearly eight hours of television a day."
"Parties, private jets, and multimillion-dollar paintings: Art Basel Miami is part of a global network of art fairs that have transformed the worldwide art market."
"Dutton Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House, is releasing a series of tiny books that give the act of reading a studied whimsy."
"The presence was so disruptive, she added, that some children had a hard time when their parents left. Others were disappointed that their parents did not come for lunch."
"The kitchen — named after the Hebrew phrase “L’Chaim,” which means, “To Life!” — features a menu of Americanized Jewish food items such as pastrami on rye, potato knish with herb sour cream..."
"Life on the sprawling grasslands precipitated a shift from individualistic ways of living to more cooperative ways. This was the birth of what you might call “social intelligence,” and it changed the way our minds work."
"When you have headlines about “white privilege” and “evil white men,” Jews become the epitome of whiteness—except, of course, for neo-Nazis, who see Jews as hyper-integrationists."