Control and Resistance: Remembering and Forgetting in the Changing Dynamics of State, Market, and Individuals
This chapter focuses on how the state control of media and various ways of resistance on Weibo have shaped the meanings of public events, and effectively utilized collective remembering to manipulate public opinion, escalating the contention over remembering and forgetting. This chapter captures the changing hierarchy of cultural authority in interpreting an event and organizing collective remembrance. Personalized narratives of public events, including those of journalists and ordinary citizens, have begun to challenge institutional (particularly official) authorities, calling for information transparency. As providers of social media platforms, the Internet business sector, including Sina, has been actively mobilizing media institutions, journalists, and witnesses to contribute to this platform during each event, integrating diverse sources, which in turn have collaboratively combated with forced forgetting, pushing back the boundary of journalistic freedom in China. Recently, official media organizations began to join the conversations and establish authorities on Weibo, which added to the complexity of the competition for discursive power within the tightening state control over the Internet.