(Un)civil Society in Digital China| Slogans and Slurs, Misogyny and Nationalism: A Case Study of Anti-Japanese Sentiment by Chinese Netizens in Contentious Social Media Comments
In September 2012, the Japanese celebrity and porn star Sora Aoi posted two messages on her Sina Weibo account expressing friendship between Japanese and Chinese citizens. The messages elicited more than 200,000 comments, ranging from virulently anti-Japanese to supportive. These comments are a unique corpus that captures how netizens engage in what Chinese scholars term online verbal violence. Using mixed methods to examine this corpus, this article identifies misogynistic and nationalist slurs and examines how these slurs are used, particularly when they interact with each other. These words not only express strong emotion or engage fellow commenters, but they also reference historical events and emphatically convey one’s national identity.