The train crash heard around the world
The train crash heard around the worldChinese netizens turn to social media after the government filters coverage of the Wenzhou train collision.
On July 23, a high-speed train crash killed 40 and injured 191 near Wenzhou in eastern China. One of the first sources of information about the crash was the Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo, including one initial post from someone who is alleged to be a survivor of the crash. According to the paper China Daily, that first post was reposted 100,000 times in just ten hours.
The government issued a blackout to media companies within the country and played down the event but people online have been angered by the government's attempts to put a damper on the discussion. Additionally, government missteps in the rescue operation led many to doubt the official story.
As people searched for alternate sources of information, online videos of the train wreckage have gone viral. The blog chinaSMACK collected the top five most viewed videos in China about the incident, the highest-viewed of which shows excavators bringing down a suspended train car that would eventually be buried. In the footage, men are seen walking bodies away from the wreckage.
“Railway Ministry” was for many days the number one trending topic on Sina Weibo but was then removed, which ignited even more conversation. User-created images about the train crash have also spread online, including one image that shows Godzilla destroying a train with the caption "I'd rather believe this than the official explanation for the train crash."
These are a few of the elements featured in this segment of The Stream.