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November 2014 public lecture
presented by

The Long Institute Lecture Series

Fear or Friction? How Censorship Slows the Spread of Information in the Digital Age
Thursday, November 13, 2014, 2:00–3:30 p.m., UC Irvine School of Law, MPAA 408 (map)

Presented by Molly Roberts, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.

What techniques do governments use to prevent the spread of information, and when are they effective? Prof. Roberts examines two alternative mechanisms through which censorship could slow the spread of online information. On one hand, censorship could create awareness of sensitive topics, signaling government intent and inducing “fear” so that people self-censor on topics the government deems objectionable. Alternatively, censorship can create “information friction,” making information slightly more difficult and costly to obtain, but keeping the act of censorship itself as invisible as possible. Prof. Roberts examines whether each mechanism is effective in slowing the spread of information using a novel experimental design which creates awareness of censorship among consumers of social media in China, in addition to a unique observational dataset that explores how bloggers change topics in reaction to censorship and measures the spread of information about protest events in China. Read more »

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Questions? Contact Jack Hsu by email or phone: (949) 824-8851

The Long Institute Lecture Series on Chinese Law, Business and Society
The Long Institute Lecture Series on Chinese Law, Business and Society is organized by the John S. and Marilyn Long U.S.-China Institute for Business and Law. The series offers presentations of state-of-the-art research on how law, business and society interact in China or in relation to China. The series provides a platform for learning and discussing how legal institutions in the world’s largest legal system and second largest economy shape and are shaped by market and social forces. Read more »

More about The Long Institute »
Lecture Program
DateSpeakerTopic
September 25
Xin He
Mismatched Discourses in the Petition Office of Chinese Courts
October 23 Benjamin Liebman Leniency in Chinese Criminal Law: Everyday Justice in Henan
November 13 Molly Roberts Fear or Friction? How Censorship Slows the Spread of Information in the Digital Age
February 23 Jerome Cohen China; Law, International Law and Human Rights
March 2015
TBA To be confirmed and topic to be announced.
April 2015 TBA To be confirmed and topic to be announced.