China’s Social Media Fuel Citizen Quake Response – NYTimes.com

China’s Social Media Fuel Citizen Quake Response - NYTimes.com

“The government is in charge of the big picture stuff, but we’re doing the work they can’t do,” Mr. Wang, 24, a former soldier, said recently, standing outside the group’s tent, which was cluttered with sleeping bags, work gloves and smartphones.

The rapid grass-roots response to the disaster reveals just how far China’s nascent civil society movement has come since 2008, when a 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Wenchuan, not far from Lushan, prompted a wave of volunteerism and philanthropy. That quake, which claimed about 90,000 lives, provoked criticism of the government for its ham-handed relief efforts. Outrage mounted in the months that followed over allegations of corruption and reports that the parents of dead children had been detained after protesting what many saw as a cover-up of shoddy school construction. Thousands of students died in school collapses during the quake.

via China’s Social Media Fuel Citizen Quake Response – NYTimes.com.

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