Micro blog users save Nanjing’s trees

An online campaign and heated comments on micro blogs saved 600 plane trees that a “green assessment” in March had said would be removed to make way for subway construction in Nanjing.

Residents found out that the crowns had been cut from some trees in Daxinggong, preparing them for removal, and they tweeted their displeasure.

A Nanjing-based environmental group, Green Stone, launched a campaign that included collecting “smiling faces” photos of people who supported protecting the trees. Hundreds of pictures – of people from all age groups and occupations, from white-collar workers to street sweepers – were posted on the micro-blog platform.

The local government agreed to destroy no more trees for underground transportation.

Earthquake relief

A few hours after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, micro blog postings began to circulate. They provided updated information on the quake and the numbers of people affected, the status of radiation from the damaged nuclear power plant, and changes in weather conditions. Everything quake-related was at the top of the micro-blogging topics list.

Videos and still photos of the tsunami and the quake, and what they left behind, were forwarded millions of times. Netizens organized prayer and mourning activities to send comfort from China to Japan.

Micro blogs also produced a negative outcome: Rumors tweeted and repeated set off panic buying of salt all over China.

Charity transparency

A wave of outrage swept through China via micro blogs in June after a young woman who called herself “Guo Meimei Baby” on her blog bragged about her lavish and luxurious lifestyle and posted photos of herself with top-line handbags and cars. She claimed to be general manager of an entity called Red Cross Commerce.

Her micro blog postings were forwarded by more than 256,000 people and drew comments from 61,800 followers after netizens expressed doubts about her misuse of charity money.

The Red Cross Society of China opened its own micro blog to interact with Weibo users amid a mounting public trust crisis. The society said there was no organization such as the one Guo Meimei tweeted about and that she had never worked at Red Cross.

On June 26, Guo Meimei said on her micro blog that she made up the title just for fun and that she had nothing to do with the Red Cross.

China Daily

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