China's social(ist) Internet

One tends to equate the Internet in China more with censorship and heavy-handed social contol by the government. Another side of the Internet is emerging in China: the use of online maps by netizens to highlight social issues.
blood_s1.jpg waste_s.jpg
Take for instance the “bloody map” (left) which tracks the illegal government land seizures or the water pollution map (right) which gives a detailed view of pollution at the local level for the whole of China. Going back to 2003 the first initiative lists around 70 cases and encourages other netizens to contribute any similar instances. The second one now includes an air map.Both projects are interesting on two counts. First, they are bottom-up efforts by the Chinese civil society to raise awareness of issues with social implications. Second, they are tolerated by the government, as long as they are kept within certain limits – for instance, some comments relating to  evictions are deleted from the blog.Maybe one day there will be a corruption map.