- This first page gives us an introduction on how China, or the Xinhua (New China) has since the 1950’s gained control of their country by being a part of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). The CCP would give only certain information to different classes; the higher class would receive factual information on their country and their country’s issues, and likewise the lower class would receive information that made them be “channeled into obedience” to serve the CCP. All was well with the changing media until the internet came along.
- Since the internet came along, the Chinese government is experiencing for the first time a lack of control of their people. Events can be posted from an individual person using their phone to spread news like wildfire all around the world, even if the government attempts to block the posting, it is not always possible. This makes the CCP less powerful in controlling their citizens because now they have a better use of technology to know what is actually going on in the world. Also, groups and party’s can form out of conversation online that have similar views.
- The assembly of the mass opinion of people online can lead to higher officials resigning (if the opinion is negative about the official). Not because they don’t want to be viewed as negative in the Chinese publics eye, but because they don’t want rivals to view their country as weak, or to become a scapegoat for a higher official. Also, a new “netizen” language has become popular over the Chinese internet in order to avoid censoring by the CCP which enables them to express their opinions online freely. The question posed by this paragraph is, will this new language lead to new thinking of the Chinese citizens? The CCP has believed for a long while that the way of language used by citizens and the way the masses think or behave are the same. Citizens are using words that meant one thing the CCP wanted them to believe now for a whole new meaning.
Example: A Train Wreck:
- A mysterious train wreck occurred that the CCP tried to cover, that lead to outrage and questioning from the Chinese citizens. This lead to deeper questions such as, “what is China?” and “what do we want China to be?”.
In 2011, two trains collided in China that derailed underneath a bridge. Officials tried to cover up the scene as quickly as possible, even though there were people still alive in the train cars, with one even tweeting “help us!”. These tweets went viral and even though the CCP’s Department of Propaganda issued a statement saying not to investigate what happened with the trains, reporters and people flooded to the scene. At a press conference the next day, Wang Yongping replied hostilly to a number of questions regarding what really happened with the trains, prompting netizens to post online with sarcasm using a few statements he’d said during his speech, such as “anyway, I believe it” and “it’s a miracle!”. Soon, these two phrases became common online to netizens and soon made headlines in magazines.
After the government became aware of the sarcasm and disbelief referring to the train situation, they attempted to buy out survivors to not talk, but this did not happen. The questioning of the CCP comes from a long line of distrust for their government. The Chinese police have noted that there are two groups of protestors, “those whose direct interests have been harmed” and, “those whose direct interests have not been harmed”, with the second group being often more difficult to contain. With all the thoughts provoked by the train crash, questions like “what is China?” and “what do we want China to be?” were provoked.
Government Control of the Internet: Since the internet arrived in China, many changes have occurred to deal with the mass amounts of people wanting to use the internet and those who want to enforce conformity and put down free thinking on the internet. Many Chinese rules have been outlined for the internet, but most fail.
- While the internet only arrived to China in 1987, only 30 years later 50 million Chinese were using the internet to post and talk about things online. More than half of that percent are users under the age of 30, with the netizens being a minority, but growing. Internet lingo soon crossed over to every day life, with those using it around their friends then easily going back to their jobs to behave professionally.
- President Hu Jintao has been discouraging the use of internet in order to keep a socialist country. Although Jintao called for more order in the internet, the people in charge such as the CCP Department of Propaganda, but there is little control due to the varying efforts of each section of the CCP. However, there are standard Chinese rules of the internet such as: regulations, surveillance, and social pressure which has internet police monitoring the web in search of unruly content. Also, self-censorship induced by threats which uses vague statements to broaden the opportunity for punishment.
- Word Filters, which regulate what words get put onto the Chinese internet. However, citizens got past this by replacing their banned words with ones the CCP used frequently that could not be banned. Firewall, which is used to protect China from unwanted information from outside countries, even though it is accessible for some tech-savvy people. The great firewall is still affective, in blocking material.
- Guiding, which is a way for the CCP to put advertising online by paying individuals to put pro-government statements online that will show up in your windows. Those people advertising online gained the nickname the “fifty-cent party” due to the belief they were paid 50 cents for each post. Although most posts seem to fail in gaining the publics trust in what’s said, it is still affective in other forms of media besides the internet.
Internet Language: Language used online can have various meanings rather than the traditional one it was given in Chinese language.
- Internet language has grown fast in China, which has formed new cultures and cyberassemblys online. Most of the words used online for words that have been banned are words that the CCP promotes, such as tianchao, or “heavenly dynasty” for the term suggests that the government is nor modern.
- Other words that are used for sarcasm in the netizens language include funny ones like the CCP being the “throat and tounge- mouth piece” and other derogatory remarks.
- Most of the words used in netizen lingo are clever puns that get passed along in the Netizen culture. They use puns online that take a normal word, and with a slight voice shift can sound like something completely inappropriate when you say it out loud. A popular slang is the word “river-crab” in pplace of “harmonious” to be funny.
- Shortening and lengthening of words is also popular among the internet culture. By taking a part or adding characters of a word, you can fool the filters set to remove the word you’re talking about. Borrowing metaphors, words, and letters from other languages can mean certain things in Chinese.
- Netizens even take some full sentences and turn them into prases that mean innapropriate things. They will change some of the grammar and words to make an officials sentence into something hilarious. This is because of the new vocabulary implemented.
- Some phrases will be used to refer to homosexual culture, by changing the grammar or using other languages tin replace of Chinese. Phrases that spread on the internet hh=now have very wide uses for a variety of meanings. Most of these words have double meanings which makes them funny and satirical.
Does Language Give New Rise To Thought:
- Language has been an essential in China to get what you want. There are now more rules in the language to distinguish internet lingo and actual language. The government has tried to adapt internet lingo into their propaganda. This leads to more questions like does language provide an outlet for citizens to release their frustrations?