“Out of the 40 cats, one knows how to open doors … Where did this intelligence come from? All the other cats watch us open the door. So I was thinking, if I never met this cat that can open doors, I wouldn’t know cats could open doors. ” One quote from the Artist Ai Weiwei.
As aforementioned in the post 2, Ai Weiwei is a prestigious artist and activist in China. He is actively using the social media to disseminate the information to the world, like Twitter, YouTube and Sina Weibo,etc. Through YouTube, he organized a workshop to tell the world what is happening in China, about his investigation in Sichuan Earthquake. The government imposed highly intention on him that the work is very hard to do in Sichuan after the Earthquake to have a detailed investigation about the name list of students who died. It contains lots of benefits, for example, pension for the dead students . And also the Bureaucracy system makes it hard to do the work, as the police always listens to the superior class and makes “the little thing to be big and hard to tell.”
Just as the Jasmine Revolution in Africa and Middle East, “We use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world”. The role of social media improved the political activism and its influence. Grass root media helps the organization and dissemination of partial resistance and leads to the improvement of democracy.
There are also severe punishments for the online activism in China. As Ai was doing the investigation in Sichuan, he was caught by the police and even the state security Bureau to not leave the place he lived. And he even got punched when police broke in. Other methods like sending him to detention and taking away his passport. Combined with the great fire wall, key word scan system and self-censorship make the online sphere not the best choice for the “freedom of speech” in China .