I was interviewed and quoted in a Reuters article on the information control after China’s vaccine scandal in July 2018.
The enormous impact of the so-called “zi meiti”, or “self-media” article marks a threat to efforts by China’s ruling Communist Party to tighten its grip over content online.
“This is a guerrilla war. The government cannot tackle it just like it does traditional media,” said Fang Kecheng, a Chinese media researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, adding that while one zi meiti account could be shut down, many others would spring up in its place.
The rise of self-media, however, has created a new dynamic.
Media researcher Fang said Chinese authorities could now look to make their own use of zi meiti, having seen its impact.
“What people should be alarmed about is that after realizing how powerful this medium is, the government might use it as a propaganda tool itself,” he said.