Jun Liu (2013), Rumor, Mobile Phone, and Resistance in contemporary China Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University
This study examines the characteristics and nature of rumor via mobile communication in contemporary China. By focusing on six concrete case studies with 50+ in-depth interviews, this study observes that mobile phone-mediated rumor has evolved into a special form of popular resistance at the grassroots level. The low-cost and user-friendly mobile device lowers the average protest threshold, creating an unprecedented opportunity for people, especially those without complicated communication skills, to organize, coordinate, or participate in resistance. The mutual visibility of meta-communication throughmobile network greatly increases both credibility of information and sense of security for participation. Additionally, the synchrono us mobile communication accumulates rumor discourse into resistance in a very short time. As a new kind of contentious politics, rumor dissemination via mobile phones show the opposition to government censorship and control of communications, and most important, the resistance against the use of the accusation of “rumor” by authorities to stifle any different voices.