China Co-Opts Social Media to Head Off Unrest. So… Situation Normal?

Sorry. Not poking fun.

China’s domestic security chief, Zhou Yongkang, calls for tighter internet controls as censors ratcheted up temporary online restriction, a day after a failed attempt to use social-networking sites to start a “Jasmine Revolution” in China.

The thing I’ve always found remarkable about the Chinese inability to revolt and overthrow its ruling regime is the fact that there are 1.3 billion Chinese. Even the largest army (in terms of manpower) no military force could withstand a wave that huge if it only moved forward. That’s exactly how China pushed America back when it crossed the 39 parallel in the Korean war. It sent what was in effect, canon fodder, in unyielding waves. But I don’t mean to devalue the extraordinary difficulty of the Chinese situation. I just mean to point out that social media and technology will not magically make it happen, and can actually work to make it not happen, but a population that large also needs much more energy to whip into a frenzy. Word of mouth information can take a long time in a population that large.

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