You’ve heard of trending topics, well the 2012 Chinese New Years on social media set a new record with over 30,000 posts in a single second as we brought in the Year of the Dragon last year. However you won’t be familiar with the microblogging service that was bombard with traffic, because its available exclusively in China. Although many would like to participate and interact on microblogs like Twitter, unfortunately they are banned in the Communist state.
2012 Chinese New Years on Social Media | Beating Twitter
Most of us have heard of trending topics on Twitter so its not surprising that Twitter held the record for most posts in a single second before China crushed the record by over 7,000 posts according to The New York Times’ article on the 2012 Chinese New Years on social media.
“In the first second of the Year of the Dragon, there were 32,312 concurrent posts,” Do News, a Chinese-language technology news site, reported, citing a company news release. The report said 481,207 messages were posted over the whole first minute of the year.
The figure for that first second far surpassed the highest number of messages per second on Twitter, which occurred last December, when the company reported 25,088 messages per second during the television broadcast in Japan of a beloved anime film. (Twitter’s second highest total — 9,420 messages per second — came earlier this month when the quarterback Tim Tebow won a playoff game in overtime.)
It will be interesting to see the impact Twitter has on China if they’re ever allowed presence on their internet waves. Of course some are already using the microblog by simply tricking their IP address.
2012 Chinese New Years on Social Media | No Anonymity
Microblogs and social media sites like the one that hosted the record breaking 2012 Chinese New Years on Social Media are required to share their real names and may not go by handles like we do here in the states.
Although they really haven’t cracked down too hard on those using pseudonyms, but many fear that stronger regulations will be implemented. Some have already begun to be punished for tweets or posts that are against the government even in the slightest manner.
Of course, any post available for the public can be read by Chinese authorities. In 2010, a Twitter user in China was sentenced to one year of hard labor for a sardonic retweet. Ms. Yaxue notes that dissident accounts often take on a dark tone in the face of this constant pressure:
On Twitter Chinese, you get a steady flow of tweets that cry for help: A has not answered his cell phone for the last two days (who would resurface later tweeting that the police took him away to answer questions); B was summoned by police to “have tea”; and C was not allowed to leave her home.
For the most part dissident Chinese use Twitter and its actually much easier to get a point across in the 140 character limit when using the Chinese language. As a matter of fact one or two paragraphs of expression in English can be shared within a few characters in Chinese.
2012 Chinese New Years on Social Media | Conclusion
So while the 2012 Chinese New Years on social media was record breaking, still many Chinese cannot use social media with the freedoms that we use it for here in the United States without facing consequences.
Image attribution: http://www.or-bits.com/blog/2011/10/truth-and-lies-part-1/