David Strömberg (Stockhom U) is presenting at the VJE-Seminar


David Strömberg talks about "Social Media and Protests in China" on April 29, 1:15 pm - 2:30 pm

Title: Social Media and Protests in China (joint with Bei Qin and Yanhui Wu)
Abstract: This paper studies whether and how social media affect the dynamics of protests in China in the 2009-2017 period. Based on a dataset of 13.2 billion microblog posts, we use retweets to construct a network of social media information flows across cities and exploit its rapid expansion to identify causal effects. We find that despite strict government control, Chinese social media have a sizeable effect on the geographic spread of protests and strikes. While the effect is rapid and short-lived and predominantly occurs between similar events, social media considerably increase the scope of protests. Further evidence shows that the effect is likely to be driven by tacit coordination and emotional reactions rather than explicit coordination and sharing tactics. Our study sheds light on the debate regarding whether social media strengthen authoritarian regimes.
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VJES David Strömberg