China: Tracking swine flu on Twitter

Swine flu for China so far is a chance to reflect [zh] on how SARS was prevented from becoming a pandemic, and the steps being taken now in Mexico and elsewhere.

Wang Jiadong has a post [zh] looking at how social media have been used to track the spread of outbreaks, from trending topics on the China Google to #hashmarks at the Twitter search engine, introducing the global Google swine flu map to his readers along with the QQ version.

The tech community at cnBeta have posted on the American CDC's [zh] use of Twitter and YouTube to disseminate the latest information, and are actively discussing the situation in the comments:


Can we comment?


Can you catch it from eating pork?

如果中国的什么疾病控制中心用QQ发布某信息…… 那估计很多人就要喷代谢产物 ~~ 你觉得呢?

If the Chinese CDC or whatever started using QQ to spread information….then I bet a lot of people would be shocked silly…don't you think?

看看人家国家~~再看看天朝gov 。差异啊~

You look at other countries, then you look at our government. What a difference!

就是你这种人…… 外国用所谓的这些软件发布就是潮流要是国内 用什么QQ发布 估计你就要来喷代谢产物 了! 不要看外国的月亮的时候那么崇拜 实际上你这么崇拜人家 人家未必把你当啥东西看

It's people like you…'s the trend right now for foreigners to use these so-called programs to disseminate information, but if they started using QQ or whatever to do that here, I bet it'd be YOU that'd be shocked silly! You shouldn't be always worshipping the foreign moon every time you look at it. You know if you keep worshipping people like that, people are just going to ignore you.

Twitter真是个肥猪流网站! 这么废品 的功能就想不明白为什么这么多人要用??难道这就是外国人思想观念比较新的具体体现了?

Twitter is really a non-mainstream website! Such a crappy service, I can't figure out why so many people want to use it?? Is it supposed to be the latest manifestation of some foreign ideological concept?


There is a difference, but compared to China a few decades ago, there's been a lot of progress. You should encourage, not mock.

An earlier cnBeta post [zh] noted that usage of the #swineflu had reached a rate of 10,000/hour. A commenter there points out that the @CDCEmergency Twitter account had already reached 25,000 followers, to which another reader writes:


In China during SARS and avian flu, did we see free flow of information? So now it's other countries with an epidemic, and China is yapping about it all over. It really is like they say with the three-line summary of Joint News Broadcast: In the first ten minutes, the state leaders are very busy; in the middle ten minutes, the people of China are very content; in the last ten minutes, the people outside China are living in hot water.


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