Social Media and the Production of Historical Knowledge of the Mao Era*
This chapter explores the influence of social media on the (re)formation of social memory and the production of alternative historical knowledge in Chinese society. It investigates several contested debates on Weibo over historical events and figures in the Mao era, arguing that social media embraces a wide variety of diverse individuals as subjects who contribute to various mnemonic practices, facilitates the crowdsourcing and aggregation of alternative narratives of the past as counter-hegemonic discourse, and cultivates the production of historical knowledge as an easily retrievable and re-activatable process. The chapter concludes that the integration of fragmented, individual memories into historical knowledge and the facilitation of diversified mnemonic practices on Weibo re-construct the maintenance and production of historical knowledge in the long run in contemporary China.
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