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Rumor, Mobile Phone, and Resistance in contemporary China

Liu, Jun LU (2013) Media in Transition 8
Abstract
This study examines the characteristics and nature of rumor via mobile communication in contemporary China. By focusing on six concrete case studies with 50+ in-depth interviews, this study observes that mobile phone-mediated rumor has evolved into a special form of popular resistance at the grassroots level. The low-cost and user-friendly mobile device lowers the average protest threshold, creating an unprecedented op-portunity for people, especially those without complicated communication skills, to organize, coordinate, or participate in resistance. The mutual visibility of meta-communication through mobile network greatly increases both credibility of information and sense of security for participation. Additionally, the synchronous... (More)
This study examines the characteristics and nature of rumor via mobile communication in contemporary China. By focusing on six concrete case studies with 50+ in-depth interviews, this study observes that mobile phone-mediated rumor has evolved into a special form of popular resistance at the grassroots level. The low-cost and user-friendly mobile device lowers the average protest threshold, creating an unprecedented op-portunity for people, especially those without complicated communication skills, to organize, coordinate, or participate in resistance. The mutual visibility of meta-communication through mobile network greatly increases both credibility of information and sense of security for participation. Additionally, the synchronous mobile communication accumulates rumor dis-course into resistance in a very short time. As a new kind of contentious politics, rumor dissemination via mobile phones show the opposition to government censorship and control of communications, and most im-portant, the resistance against the use of the accusation of “rumor” by authorities to stifle any different voices. (Less)
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Contribution to conference
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published
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conference name
Media in Transition 8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
49b52fae-1d45-4c84-a776-e240e07a1b40 (old id 3768446)
alternative location
http://web.mit.edu/comm-forum/mit8/papers/Jun_Liu_full_paper.pdf
date added to LUP
2013-06-17 12:46:25
date last changed
2016-04-16 11:57:01
@misc{49b52fae-1d45-4c84-a776-e240e07a1b40,
  abstract     = {This study examines the characteristics and nature of rumor via mobile communication in contemporary China. By focusing on six concrete case studies with 50+ in-depth interviews, this study observes that mobile phone-mediated rumor has evolved into a special form of popular resistance at the grassroots level. The low-cost and user-friendly mobile device lowers the average protest threshold, creating an unprecedented op-portunity for people, especially those without complicated communication skills, to organize, coordinate, or participate in resistance. The mutual visibility of meta-communication through mobile network greatly increases both credibility of information and sense of security for participation. Additionally, the synchronous mobile communication accumulates rumor dis-course into resistance in a very short time. As a new kind of contentious politics, rumor dissemination via mobile phones show the opposition to government censorship and control of communications, and most im-portant, the resistance against the use of the accusation of “rumor” by authorities to stifle any different voices.},
  author       = {Liu, Jun},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Rumor, Mobile Phone, and Resistance in contemporary China},
  year         = {2013},
}