This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Online Community Response to A Political Corruption Issue: A Study of Sina Weibo in the Lei Zhengfu Affair




Dong, Le

Type of Degree



Communication and Journalism


This study conducted a content analysis of one of the most popular Chinese microblogging sites, Sina Weibo, to investigate how Chinese Internet users used microblogging in response to a well-known political corruption affair: Lei Zhengfu, a former secretary of Beibei District Party of Chongqing Province, was caught on video having sex with his 18-year-old mistress. This study conducted a content analysis of the content of microblog messages, information trends of messages in different categories over the period, and the information spreading process. This study explored the roles played by microblogging systems in response to the political corruption issues and enabled the researcher to gain insights into how to harness the power of microblogging to facilitate the process of anti-corruption activities. In addition, this work supplements existing works with an exploration of a non-Western socio-cultural system: how Chinese Internet users used microblogging to respond to a political corruption issue.