Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Chinese Media Misstated Libyan against West | 中央电视台谎报“利比亚人民反对西方武力“

为什么利比亚出现中文标语?因为抗议者要告诉中国人民: 利比亚人民反对卡扎非,"法国万岁!"  央视宣传"利比亚人民反对西方武力"是谎言。

Libyan protesters challenge Chinese media spin -

"Muammar Gaddafi is a liar": the banner in Chinese script by Libyan protestors is hard for the Chinese media to misinterpret. (Photo/Web)

The Chinese government has denounced the western-led military action against the forces of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, with the country's state-run media plying the line that Libyan citizens are strongly opposed to western intervention. However, Libyan protestors have sent another message, including using Chinese words, to express their anger against Gaddafi, making it hard for the Chinese media to push its own narrative.
On Thursday (Mar. 24) the state-run CCTV 4 reported on protesters in Benghazi, showing a banner with the words "Vive la France" (Long live France). The broadcaster's voice-over called this a Libyan outcry against the bombing of the city by coalition forces.

It is uncertain whether Libyan people have seen the reports from China's official media. But Libyan protestors later actually flashed a slogan written in Chinese characters to make sure the Chinese public really know their mind. The slogan read: "Muammar Gaddafi is a liar."

A netizen addressed the state-run media on Sina Weibo, China's largest microblog, "Now how can you lie? (You) are really hard on Libyan people. They are already so busy with the mess their country is in. Now they have to learn Chinese as well."

Another user said CCTV misreported the victims of attacks by Gaddafi's forces in Benghazi as the victims of multinational coalition forces by manipulating pictures.

Further report from Reuters

Monday, 14 March 2011

'Microblogs can’t give us justice'

Zhang Ming: On March 5, a major traffic accident occurred outside the gate of Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics in Nanchang in which a sedan collided with a bus before careening off into a crowd of people, killing two students and injuring four. Among those killed was a female graduate student from the university. Arriving at the scene, the police failed to follow procedure. They did not secure the scene, nor did they test the blood alcohol content of the sedan driver.

It was only after classmates of the dead students made a stink online, posting an account of the incident on China’s domestic Twitter-like “microblogs,” or weibo, and drawing nationwide attention to the case, that the government in Nanchang decided to act.

Hours after the accident, police finally tested the driver’s alcohol level, which still showed him over the legal limit. He was charged with driving under the influence (酒驾), avoiding the more serious charge of drunken driving (醉驾). But you can just imagine how the test might have come out had police followed procedure at the scene. And without the interference of online public opinion pressure, the driver might have gotten off scott free.

There was more to this story than a simple procedural hiccup, however. Why had police released the driver in the first place? Because he is, as it turns out, the current vice-president of Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Liao Weiming (廖为明).

This case is arguably more serious than the Li Gang incident in Hebei province, which sparked so much anger across China in October last year after the son of an influential police official killed a female student while driving recklessly on the campus of Hebei University.

Fortunately, microblogs now offer us a new means of focusing attention on cases like this one. I came across the post on this case too, and I passed it along to my own microblog followers, doing my part to ensure it got the attention it deserved. If it weren’t for the power of the microblog, Vice-president Liao would have walked away from all responsibility. But of course the underlying issue here is how the rules can be bent in cases like this one, even over a traffic accident, to serve the interests of the powerful.

We live in the age of the automobile in China, and we see many of our society’s problems manifested over luxury sedans and the special powers and privileges they have come to symbolize. No one dares lift a finger when traffic laws are broken by the powerful. The violator need only mention that he knows such-and-such a person in the traffic police division and the whole matter is neatly smoothed over. When this is how things really work, what good is it to announce a national campaign against drunk driving?

In the olden days, Chinese waited for the benevolent official of myth and fiction to come and deliver justice. Today, people wait for microblogs to apply pressure, administering some semblance of justice.

In a sense, of course, this is a mark of progress. But why is it that simple justice can only come if pressure from microblogs are brought to bear? Do police in Nanchang not know how to handle a traffic accident? That’s not it, of course. They don’t need people teaching them how to do their jobs through microblogs.
What microblogs do is apply public opinion pressure. And if truth be told, the authorities in Nanchang don’t exactly live in fear of public opinion. To the extent that online public opinion serves any purpose at all, this is only because the superiors of those involved are keen to manage the possible impact on their own careers.
All of us know not every case of wrongdoing can garner the attention in China’s microblog sphere necessary to elicit action. There are many more cases, perhaps more tragic than this one, that may fail to heat up for all sorts of reasons — people can’t make out what’s true or not, or there aren’t the right elements to stir public emotion.

We cannot rely on microblogs to bring us social justice. If those charged with upholding the law look first to upholding their own interests, anger and injustice will continue to build up in society.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Jasmine Rain & Tiananmen Augmented Reality at Boston CyberArt 2011

New media art deploying mobile phone application is showcasing Institute of Contemporary Art Boston during Boston CyberArt Festival, April. 22-May 8, 2011

Jasmine Rain, Tamiko Thiel.

Jasmine Rain with iPhone, Tamiko Thiel.

Manifest.AR at the ICA.

ICA Comp Butterfly Lovers