Chinese Social Media Bringing Justices to the World


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Social media in China is always one of the most common ways in which people get their latest gossip and news. Social media can turn a common event into something that takes the globe by storm. Now, social media is taking a tragedy and making sure that the world realizes just how much of an injustice this is, as well as their desire to bring the guilty party to justice.

In a central Chinese city, Jingzhou, a 31-year old mother, Xiang Liujuan had decided to go to the mall while taking her son with her as a day to relax. After spending some time at the park, the two went into a local into a local mall, and stepped onto an escalator. By the time that she realized what everyone was screaming about on the escalator it was too late.

At the top of the escalator, a panel had fell, which opened up a trap for those who were riding on this escalator. Xiang fell through the trap, but managed to push her son to safety. However, the machinery that ran the escalator crushed Xiang. This was all caught on mall security footage, and since then the social media channels have been buzzing with the injustices of this event.

Social media in China have over 1.3 billion users throughout these channels. And these users on social media channels have accused the mall of murder. Newspapers like “People’s Daily” have called for a top to bottom investigation of the incident.

This social media frenzy was started by the family of Xiang who wanted to raise attention to the incident, as there seemed to be little thought given to the fact that a woman lost her life due to the malfunctioning escalator. In a blog post on Weibo, the cousin of Xiang wrote:

“I hoped righteous journalism can stand out to warn everybody.”

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After this post on Weibo, the video was released and millions of people were seeing firsthand what happened to the other mother. Celebrity bloggers started to weigh in on the incident. Shi Liqin wrote on Weibo:

“The mall owner and manufacturer of the escalator should be fined to their bankruptcy.”

There have been several posts on WeChat, including for a user called Chen Li, who wrote:

“We’re all focused on how we can stop this from happening to us. But what can we do for this woman?”

The power of Chinese social media is gaining attention to this incident around the globe. So much so that government officials have said that the initial investigation is showing that this was the fault of the mall. In fact, they believe that mall employees noticed the faulty panel about five minutes before Xiang boarded the escalator, however, failed to shut this down upon noticing it. Many are praising how social media users are bringing to light these important issues. They feel as though this is helping to make injustices come to light. It is still unclear what is going to happen to the mall owners, but if social media users get their wish, the mall owner will be fined to the point of bankruptcy.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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