Every rose has its thorn: Censorship and surveillance on social video platforms in China

Jeffrey Knockel, Masashi Crete-Nishihata, Jason Q. Ng, Adam Senft, Jedidiah R. Crandall

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social media companies operating in China face a complex array of regulations and are liable for content posted to their platforms. Through reverse engineering we provide a view into how keyword censorship operates on four popular social video platforms in China: YY, 9158, Sina Show, and GuaGua. We also find keyword surveillance capabilities on YY. Our findings show inconsistencies in the implementation of censorship and the keyword lists used to trigger censorship events between the platforms we analyzed. We reveal a range of targeted content including criticism of the government and collective action. These results develop a deeper understanding of Chinese social media via comparative analysis across platforms, and provide evidence that there is no monolithic set of rules that govern how information controls are implemented in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event5th USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet, FOCI 2015, co-located with USENIX Security 2015 - Washington, United States
Duration: Aug 10 2015 → …

Conference

Conference5th USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet, FOCI 2015, co-located with USENIX Security 2015
CountryUnited States
CityWashington
Period8/10/15 → …

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software

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