Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Analysis on the Characteristics of Speech in Chinese Network Forums

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Analysis on the Characteristics of Speech in Chinese Network Forums

Article excerpt


Network forum has become a speech field of Chinese netizens to express their own ideas with the fast development of the network in China. This paper analyzes the characteristics of the speech in Chinese network forum by survey on the Netease BBS, one of the most important network forums in China. The characteristics of the forum speech conform to the features of the crowd described by the social psychologist Gustav Le Bon, which is innocent, impulsive and vulnerable to implication. In the forums, the individuals form the group and imitate each other automatically and unconsciously. With the effects of polarization, sleeper and stereotype, the extreme speech and rumors often come into being in that process, and have harmful influence to the social stability.

Keywords: network forum, speech, netizen, the crowd, effect of polarization, effect of sleeper, effect of stereotype

1. Introduction

With the increase of Chinese netizen, China has become the country with the largest number of netizens in the world. Network forums have become a place for netizens to express their opinions freely because the restrictions to the comments of netizens in network are reducing. In recent years, almost the entire explosive message in Chinese internet has come from network forums, whose influences on Chinese social opinion have become more overwhelming. The characteristics of netizen speech in Chinese network forums are the concern object of this paper.

Chinese network forum seems very confusing in the first glance. In a larger sense, network forum includes not only the BBS, but also QQ, MSN etc., because such chat tools have the function of group discussion. In the network forum, there are both much useful information and harmful information, so the network forum is a double-edged sword. With the group effect, the speech in the network forum would be out of control, and that is disadvantage to the stability of society.

2. Background

The population of Chinese netizen springs up fast and the uses of network become more diverse. The public still get the information from mainstream media today, but the network provides more and more information and influences the opinion of the public more significantly. The youth of China spend more time on network than that on television. As a source of information, the network plays an important role in the daily life of the public.

Although the public do not believe everything they get from the network, but the huge amount of information influences the attitude and emotion of the netizen. At least they would believe it later because of the sleeper effect, although they do not believe the information in the first glance. Some information comes from the mainstream media would be interpreted out of context, and be spread in the network, so the seriously false information comes into being.

The commercialization of the network forum is also a factor that gives birth to the false information. Making profit is the first goal of the commercialized forum. In order to catch the attention of the netizen, the forum would put up some fancy or even abnormal information. In fact, such information is not true, and most of the netizen do not believe that, but in the long run, it would have great influence and misleads the netizen.

In recent years, lots of the network events interrupt the normal living situation of the parties. The fact is distorted and magnified in the description and narrative of the network forum, and soon becomes the focus of the netizen.

Some netizens do not believe such information but still spread and overstate the information. As a result, the defined impression of the parties is formed because of the group polarization. The parties would be the target of the language violence soon and the tragic ending is caused.

In current situation, some sensitive spheres such as medical treatment, housing etc. are the most important focus of Chinese netizens. …

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