the initial reaction of china's netizens was one of shock, so it didn't surprise me that online communities were flooded with various emotional comments in the first few days.

then i find something are different this time:

1) the impact of the censorship is minimal. despite the fact that major news portals like sina (perhaps other sites as well) received orders from the government to calm down related online discussions, you still read a lot of heated discussions on various sites, especially on those sites that heavily rely on user-generated contents

2) self-censorship is widespread. a lot of the discussions touched the topics which used to be taboos before, and commentators tried to mitigate the general tone in order to avoid unnecessary scrutiny and trouble

3) information flow across the boundaries of traditional media and new media, various online communities, real and virtual world. many online discussions borrowed raw materials from reports in traditional media (mostly newspaper articles), there are much more cross-posts and there is an investigation team organized by netizens who organize themselves, communite with each other and will share their findings online

4) with more intellectuals and professionals (such as lawyers) online (which was not so a few years ago), their voices can be heard more easily adn the online discussions are injected with valuable perspectives and depth

5) it seems that the government is listening to the online communities and responds quickly (well, i have to say that for the time being, public opinions only exist online in china ). what used to take a few months now only takes a few days

related topics that various online communities discussed include:

1) beijing's governance in provincial levels
2) which government bodies should be responsible for the scandal and petition to ask them to resign
3) the worship of material life in today's china
4) besides economic freedom,chinese people need political and cultural freedom
5) how americans find missing kids
6) the definition of slavery and should those "forced labor" be called "slave"
7) the sins of capitalism
8) the value chains of the business
9) roles of non-government human rights organizations
10) how to improve existing relevant government depts
11) is it a conspiracy to tarnish hu-wen government
12) deficiencies of current law systems and law enforcement practices
13) how to protect my own kid
14) where are the other missing kids and how to rescue them