Gaslighting: Comment Moderation on Chinese Social Media
Speaker: Yang (Leo) Yang (PhD Candidate, University of California San Diego)
Zoom link: https://anu.zoom.us/j/84823697903?pwd=amNqRWt3VldVSHRLaVlDcW9GVVBKZz09
Meeting ID: 848 2369 7903
In this study, we examine the moderation of comment sections by government-affiliated accounts on Sina Weibo, a popular social media platform in China. Our research aims to bridge the gap between previous studies on censorship and propaganda by examining the intersection of these tactics in China. Specifically, we focus on how government-affiliated accounts use propaganda content and censor undesirable comments under their posts. We utilize a high-frequency dataset and conduct two survey experiments to answer three research questions: why and when government-affiliated accounts choose to moderate their comment sections, the causal effects of comment section censorship on remaining content and user engagement, and how comment section moderation influences public opinion by altering second-order beliefs.