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Accepted Paper:

Migration of the stories against migration of the people. Coronavirus in Chinese and Polish social media  


Aleksandra Brzostek (Nicolaus Copernicus University)

Paper short abstract:

The epidemic of the COVID-19 infectious disease began on November 17, 2019 in China. Since then, social media such as Facebook has become a place of support for people who treat the pandemic as a global fake news, as well as an excuse to unleash an economic war between China and the United States.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores Polish-Chinese migrations of social narratives, such as urban legends or conspiracy theories, in opposition to human migrations during the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic. The text draws attention to the dialectics of vernacular and institutional discourses and their interdependence. The narratives collected here are hybrids of both, media reports, perceived as fake news, conspiracy theories, which are in opposition to common institutional narratives, or urban legends, which, depending on their source, will be considered as vernacular narratives, where the "authentic voice of the people" is heard or institutional narratives based on government content. Media censorship in China is an area of filtered information with an emphasis on the control and supervision of flowing content. However, the transmission of often unwanted narratives crosses territorial boundaries, spreading and mutating around the world. The apparent lack of control over the information flowing out has increased the usability of the transmitted content, and the "word of the street" has become a common tool of manipulation, where it slowly loses its emancipatory value.

Panel Heal02a
COVID cultures: disentangling emerging viral assemblages I