Past and Present: Weibo, Historical Events, and News
This chapter mainly examines how the past is made use of in the service of the present in the age of social media. Two types of “past” have been analyzed in relation to the present on Weibo: historical events and the ongoing news events that fade quickly from public attention. Weibo provides a space that invites both elite and grassroots users rewriting and reusing of the remote past. Current news events are also explained in the context of unresolved past. The ongoing news events are simultaneously being updated and stored, and becoming reference of a newly emerging event, through three types of mnemonic practices: online commemoration, memory accumulation, and first draft of history. These practices of remembering either incite criticism of the current power structure or produce meanings that serve to strengthen it.