China: social media response to Wenzhou crash challenges censorship

The potent reaction from both Chinese netizens and mainstream media in response to Sunday’s deadly train crash in Wenzhou has shown how the state’s propaganda machine is being increasingly challenged. The majority of Chinese media (including state-owned organs) this week ignored directives issued by the Central Propaganda Ministry not to report on the causes of the crash. Meanwhile, netizens’ use of social media, both to chronicle the disaster and to express their fury at the government’s handling of the situation, has led outspoken paper Southern Metropolis Daily to claim “no one, not even someone with the lowest IQ, would choose to challenge the public at this particular point in time.”