Translated Titles

Popularized Internet Regulation in Authoritarian Regimes: The Online "Informing" System in Mainland China




周嘉辰(Chelsea C. Chou);黃佳雯(Chia-wen Huang)

Key Words

大眾化監管 ; 威權政體 ; 網路審查 ; 舉報制度 ; Authoritarian Regimes ; Informing System ; Internet Censorship ; Popularized Regulation



Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

71期(2021 / 06 / 01)

Page #

99 - 129

Content Language


Chinese Abstract


English Abstract

This article explores the internet regulation in Mainland China. We find that the current pattern of internet regulation has begun to be "popularized." By establishing an online informing system, the Chinese government encourages ordinary people to make extensive reports in the online world, making everyone a regulator of online speech, and allowing individuals to take the initiative to help the government regulate every corner of the internet content. In order to understand whether Chinese netizens support this system, we use in-depth interviews to illustrate how the informing system is welcomed by internet users. We find that the sense of morality that everyone is responsible for internet regulation is the main reason that motivates individuals to become an informant, and the past reporting experience and related incentive measures also help netizens continue to participate in. Due to the wide range of online informing, the self-censorship of Chinese netizens has become very serious. However, in addition to reporting false information and political opinions, Chinese netizens have begun to use the informing system to achieve their own goals. This often produces unexpected effects, including large-scale disputes between different groups of netizens, and hence brings more challenges to the Chinese government to regulate the internet.

Topic Category 社會科學 > 政治學