Anger spreads faster than joy on China's social network

When it comes to the Internet, are people more prone to jump on an angry bandwagon than a joyful one?

New data indicates this may be the case. A study (pdf) by researchers at China's Beihang University shows that people on China's Twitter-like microblogging site Sina Weibo are more likely to throw in their two cents or pass along posts that are angry in nature, while posts that are joyful, sad, or disgusted tend to stagnate.

"Connected by online social ties, different users influence each other emotionally," the study reads. "We find the correlation of … Read more

Crave Ep. 136: DIY pet insect robot crawls into production

Subscribe to Crave:

iTunes (HD)iTunes (SD)iTunes (HQ)


To mark Villains Month, DC Comics is releasing a limited number of 3D comic book covers -- no annoying glasses needed. Plus, Hot Wheels builds the tallest wall track for toy cars, and we take a look at Dash Robotics' educational "origami" insect bots meant to get kids excited about robots and engineering. All that and more on this week's awesome Crave show. … Read more

Siri now gives Chinese prostitutes the cold shoulder -- report

Siri may have run afoul of Chinese law over the past few months, forcing Apple to rein her in.

Some users have apparently asked Apple's voice-activated assistant where they could find prostitutes in China, according to the government-run Xinhua News Agency. And Siri has been directing them to supposed nearby locations. Prostitution, however, is illegal in China.

The novelty of Siri's responses prompted China's version of Twitter, Sina Weibo, to light up with comments and jokes. According to the BBC, one user wrote that finding an escort is easier than finding a Chinese restaurant.

"When I … Read more

Millions of Chinese pour onto Facebook, Twitter, report claims

Apparently, China's "Great Firewall" is permeable.

Social media use in the Far East country has reportedly skyrocketed over the last three years despite the government's strict bans on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social-networking sites. This is according to new data by global Internet research company GlobalWebIndex.

The data estimates that Facebook users have increased from nearly 8 million to more than 63 million since July 2009, and Twitter users have gone from 11 million to 35 million. Despite these wild jumps in numbers, they are still only a small percentage of China's population -- … Read more

China's government takes on microblogs, blogs, online forums

Last month it was blog users, this month it's blog owners. The Chinese government announced today that it will tighten restrictions on all Internet service providers for blogs, microblogs, and online forums -- forcing them to act as Web police, according to the Associated Press.

This is just the latest in a long list of restrictions that the government is enforcing on its citizens. According to the Associated Press, China began requiring real-name registration on all microblogs in December. However, people still seem to be sneaking under the radar.

The new restrictions entail making the Internet providers act as … Read more

China's Sina Weibo intros code of conduct: No 'evil teachings'

China's Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo has followed through on a promise to institute a "contract" with users over their conduct on the communication platform.

Sina Weibo's new code of conduct, introduced today, takes aim at users who attempt to post messages that speak unkindly of China's constitution, harm the "unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity" of the country, or reveal national secrets, according to Reuters, which was first to report on the news. The code also bans users from spreading rumors and promoting "evil teachings and superstitions."

Sina Weibo earlier this … Read more

China's Sina Weibo creates 'user contract,' increasing censorship

Just a couple of weeks after Chinese censors lambasted the social network Sina Weibo for "rumor" mongering, the Twitter-like service announced plans to establish a "user contract" by the end of this month. This comes shortly after the uberpopular site also promised to fight against rumors on the Internet.

According to tech news site The Next Web, which got its hands on the contract and translated it, there are several points that look like they could impede the free flow of information.

It seems as if, for Sina Weibo, the point of the contract is to … Read more

China clamps down on Sina Weibo as censorship abounds

China has once again taken aim at Web users who have allegedly spread political rumors across the Internet.

Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo yesterday announced to its user base that it had banned several accounts for engaging in rumor mongering. The move came about a month after Li Delin, a senior editor for Chinese magazine Capital Week, wrote on Sina Weibo that he saw an inordinate number of military vehicles and plainclothes police in Beijing. The message sparked rumors of a possible coup.

"Recently, criminal elements have used Sina Weibo to create and spread malicious political rumors online for … Read more

Chinese get past censors and onto Facebook, YouTube, Twitter

China's "Great Firewall" is the tongue-in-cheek way to refer to the Chinese government's blocking and censorship of Web sites. And, somehow, that wall has been fractured this week.

It all started when Chinese citizens flooded President Obama's Google+ page over the weekend, leaving thousands of messages ranging from jokes to begging the U.S. president to do something about China's civil rights issues.

Now, Reuters reports that Chinese Internet users have accessed YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter--all sites normally blocked by the Great Firewall.

"I used Facebook for the first time yesterday," Zhang … Read more

Teen girl allegedly offers virginity for iPhone 4

Many of you may remember the teen who reportedly sold his kidney for an iPad 2. Well, the obsession with gadgets may have reached yet another all-time low, if a story out of China is to be believed.

A recent Korea Herald article describes a Chinese teen girl who publicly posted a shocking proposition on Weibo (China's version of Twitter): buy her an iPhone 4 in exchange for her virginity.

The unnamed teen from Guangdong posted that it is her "dream to own an iPhone 4," but her "father won't let her get one." So, she took to the social-networking site with a picture of herself and some personal information, asking anonymous users of the microblogging service to buy her Apple's most powerful smartphone in exchange for, well, her body. … Read more