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The Power of Social Network in China: How Does Microblog Influence the Way of Expression
Unformatted Document Text:  The Power of Social Network in China: How Does Microblog Influence the Way of Expression Yihuang, a county in Jiangxi Province, became the center of the microblog storm in September 2010. After their forced eviction the Zhong family set themselves on fire, the brother died, and the two sisters survived. This story would not have received very much press, if the story had not become so popular within the microblog community. The family was eventually invited by the Pheonix TV station to Beijing, and the two sisters‟ lives may have been saved. The whole event is called “Restroom battle”.The Zhong sisters were asked to participate in a TV show in Beijing to talk about their misfortune. But they were prevented to go by the local government of Yihuang, as they were afraid that the event would get too much public exposure. As a result, the Zhong sisters were forced off their plane after boarding by a group of government officials from Yihuang County. After useless resist, the Zhongs missed their plane and were about to be sent to the local police station. Fortunately they caught a chance to go to the restroom, make a phone call to Chang Liu, a journalist from <New Century Weekly> who had interviewed them a few weeks before. After receiving Zhong‟s phone call, Liu tried to contact the police station first, but no one answered. He then quickly informed his colleague Fei Deng to begin reporting on the event, and in the meanwhile at 7:39am, he posted on his microblog: “Help! Zhong sisters, the wounded in the Fuzhou self-immolation event, were blocked by over 40 people in the Nanchang airport at 7 o’clock this morning. They were on their way to look for help to Beijing. It’s of no use to seek help from police. Please help!” He attached this post to the phone numbers of the airport and police station. At first, the number of comments and forwards were very few. However, 20 minutes later, comments were streaming in. Network opinion leader Murong Xuecun read that post and forwarded it, which made the forwards and comments double and redouble over

Authors: Xu, Linjia.
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The Power of Social Network in China: How Does Microblog Influence the Way of Expression 
 
Yihuang, a county in Jiangxi Province, became the center of the microblog storm 
in September 2010. After their forced eviction the Zhong family set themselves on fire, 
the brother died, and the two sisters survived. This story would not have received very 
much press, if the story had not become so popular within the microblog community. 
The family was eventually invited by the Pheonix TV station to Beijing, and the two 
sisters‟ lives may have been saved. The whole event is called “Restroom battle”.The 
Zhong  sisters  were  asked  to  participate  in  a  TV  show  in  Beijing  to  talk  about  their 
misfortune.  But  they  were  prevented  to  go  by  the  local  government  of  Yihuang,  as 
they were afraid that the event would get too much public exposure. As a result, the 
Zhong  sisters  were  forced  off  their  plane  after  boarding  by  a  group  of  government 
officials from Yihuang County. After useless resist, the Zhongs missed their plane and 
were about to be sent to the local police station. Fortunately they caught a chance to 
go to the restroom, make a phone call to Chang Liu, a journalist from <New Century 
Weekly> who had interviewed them a few weeks before. 
After receiving Zhong‟s phone call, Liu tried to contact the police station first, but 
no one answered. He then quickly informed his colleague Fei Deng to begin reporting 
on the event, and in the meanwhile at 7:39am, he posted on his microblog: 
“Help!  Zhong  sisters,  the  wounded  in  the  Fuzhou  self-immolation  event,  were 
blocked  by  over  40  people  in  the  Nanchang  airport  at  7  o’clock  this  morning.  They 
were on their way to look for help to Beijing. It’s of no use to seek help from police. 
Please help!” 
He attached this post to the phone numbers of the airport and police station. At 
first, the number of comments and forwards were very few. However, 20 minutes later, 
comments were streaming in. Network opinion leader Murong Xuecun read that post 
and forwarded it, which made the forwards and comments double and redouble over 


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