ERMeCC Lunch Seminar

Start date

Wednesday, 16 Jan 2019, 12:00

End date

Wednesday, 16 Jan 2019, 13:00

ERMeCC Logo Image 2

On Wednesday, 16th January we will be hosting another ERMeCC Lunch Seminar in Polak 2-18 from 12:00 to 13:00. Please feel free to bring your lunch and comments! In turn, we will provide intellectual stimulation by presenting the research detailed below.

‘Defend Our Motherland Like We Are Defending Our Idols’: Chinese Vigilant Patriots on Social Media

Qian Huang

In recent years, there were several incidents of digital vigilantism (DV) demonstrating nationalism in China, where citizens identify and expose an individual’s ‘unpatriotic’ speech or conduct, and call for shaming and/or other forms of punishment. The presentation will primarily focus on preliminary findings of two case studies, the Jiejieliang Incident and the Ziyu Zhou Incident, including patterns, public discourse and media discourse analysis. The chosen cases represent two types of targets and corresponding developments: civilian targets’ private personal information is made public so that they can be punished by unwanted online visibility, while celebrity targets’ ‘unpatriotic’ conducts are made visible so that they can be punished by official ban or grassroot boycott. Being publicly named and shamed online in China does not only result in a long-term and unwanted visibility, but might also solicit punishments from institutions, such as being reprimanded by the government, being expelled from university and being forced out of the entertainment industry. The strategies adopted by Chinese patriotic netizens demonstrate their collective identity, their support of the state’s narrative and collaboration with state institutions.


Heroes and Douchebags: The evolution of media portrayal of digital vigilantes in Russia

Rashid Gabdulhakov 

Organized and state-supported vigilante groups operate across Russia, targeting citizens over a multitude of offences. One of the most popular projects among these groups is StopHam [Stop a Douchebag], specializing in parking violations. StopHam participants are notorious for the stickers they place on the drivers’ windshields, reading “I’m a douchebag, I park wherever I want.” Participants and their targets often clash in violent confrontations, which are filmed, edited and uploaded on YouTube. Such publicity is intended to further harm the ‘offenders’ and leads to negative consequences for the targets, such as reputation damage and job loss. While new media made these online practices possible for participants, traditional media is instrumental in the process of rendering meaning to digital vigilantism and framing of actors. The presentation will demonstrate how Russia’s state-owned traditional media went from aiding StopHam by framing and exposing their targets, to condemning participants themselves. National, ethnic, gender, class, and other biases in the traditional media reports will be addressed.