Online firestorms in social media: Comparative research between China Weibo and USA Twitter
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AbstractThis study explores unique differences between China Weibo and the United States (US) Twitter in terms of how users carry out online firestorms. This exploration is carried out through a quantitative content analysis of top trending words and associated top tweets over a six-month period on the social media platforms. Our findings suggest that the threshold for considering online reaction to be an online firestorm is significantly higher in China than in the US. The study also suggests that in carrying out online firestorms, US users are much more apt to use mockery and political or social opinion expression against targets than their Chinese counterparts; they are also more apt to actively mobilize collective actions against such targets. Chinese users rarely target governments or politics, though they actively pick out corporations and media/entertainment-related organizations. In the US, on the other hand, it is in fact the government and politics that users target extensively. What is more common on US Twitter than on China Weibo are online firestorms inflicting reputational damage on the ability-related dimension of a target (i.e., ability online firestorms). And what is more common on China Weibo than on US Twitter are firestorms that inflict damage on the social responsibility or ethics-related dimension of the target (i.e., Social Responsibility online firestorms).
All Author(s) ListKim S., Sung K.H., Ji Y., Xing C., Qu J.G.
Journal namePublic Relations Review
Volume Number47
Issue Number1
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Article number102010
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsTwitter, China Weibo, Cultural difference, Online firestorms, Social media

Last updated on 2024-16-04 at 00:01