关注并屏蔽着 – Followed but blacklisted – English

  
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As the Chinese proverb goes: “In the Yangtze River the waves behind push on those ahead, and thus, the new generation excels the old.” Microblogs are the next generation in blogging. In this era of all things “micro”, Sina Weibo is no doubt the leading microblogging platform in China. A year ago (incidentally, it is exactly one year from today), I posted (with insightful observation): “Sina Weibo is a successful – and typical – creative knock-off product. Although the idea is taken from Twitter, Weibo is not just a copy of it. In comparison, Weibo is much more user-friendly in forwarding, commenting, and posting pictures. All in all, Weibo is better than Twitter.

Recently, Sina Weibo quietly introduced the ‘blocked list’ feature (Found under Account -> Settings -> Privacy -> Block Settings). With this feature, you can block people that you’ve been following. You will still be their followers – but their updates won’t show up and bug you any more. At first glance, it is a useless invention (just un-follow them if you have had enough of their crap). But take a second thought, and you’ll understand how thoughtful the developers are. They are so attentive to customers’ needs, that you could even consider it a milestone in the development of social networking. Let me put it this way: as a Weibo user, are you suffering from having to follow somebody that you don’t want to follow at all? This might be your boss, a colleague, a relative, a friend, or someone who requested to be followed. If you don’t follow as asked, you are not giving them face, which in a Chinese context could mean anything from respect, care, love, to trust, etc. That could be really rude. However, thanks to the blocked list, you can enthusiastically follow them while secretly ignoring their existence. I am your follower, in name only, therefore I will not be reading your Weibo. Two birds killed with one stone and it keeps everyone happy.

Based on the aforementioned “blocking” feature, Weibo should be credited for being extremely attentive to clients, and they understand the Chinese so damn well!

To put it simply, to blocklist is to fake-follow. The innovation has added a human touch to the virtual world, 让网络社交变得更加接近生活(能把“虚伪”这种社交常用技巧引入网络、能把“面子”这种用户需求照顾得舒舒服服——这种创举甚至有些让人感动呢!)

Since to blocklist means to fake-follow, logically Sina Weibo should be working on the feature of fake-un-following in the next phase. I’ve already thought of a name for that: invisible follower. With this feature, you can follow anyone you desire without a trace, be it your exes, your enemy online, your undisclosed crush, or people you fantasize but whose image doesn’t suit yours in public eyes. In short, a great fun for guilty pleasure.

At first, the number of Jiangshi fans (inactive followers) casted a shadow on the credibility of using the number of fans as indicators for popularity in Weibo. Now that we can block list , the action to follow itself will become unreliable. Nevertheless, for Weibo users, it will be a more comfortable, happier, and attractive community to engage in. Following yet block listing has taken the joy of the virtual space to another level!

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Source : Bullogger

About julien.leyre

French-Australian writer, educator, sinophile. Any question? Contact julien@marcopoloproject.org