Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Gates Project 3: What Kind of Environment Does e-Advocacy Require?

I was just reading an article about how Chinese internet users reacted to the murder of Sun Zhigang, who was murdered by police in a migrant detention center in 2003. Internet users reacted by forwarding the story of the murder to one another through e-mail, posting it on online bulletin boards, and leaving angry messages on popular websites. Eventually the buzz created by this activity alerted legal scholars who began lobbying the Chinese government to end the system of temporary residence permits that had landed Sun in the detention center in the first place.

So I wonder, is e-advocacy just a matter of penetration, of enough people having internet access so that it is an effective means of spreading information on a mass scale? What are other cultural factors? In China, at least, the government so discourages political activity of any kind, especially on the internet, that I wonder what other cultural factors counter-balanced the unfriendly political climate to convince people to act.

categories: internet activism_, gates project_, the "developing world"_

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Comments:
good to hear this e-advocacy effort had a positive outcome.

culturewise: I can only guess that the person who forwarded the email choose to take full responsibility over the outcome negative or positive before it was sent.

email can be a dangerous telephone game if abused!
 
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