Net nationalism: The digitalization of the Uyghur diaspora

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Following the deadly riots in Xinjiang in early July 2009, news agencies and other organizations received e-mail messages calling on Tibetans to participate in worldwide protests and demonstrations in front of China's diplomatic missions in support of and solidarity with the suppressed Uyghurs in East Turkestan (Xinjiang). Allegedly sent by the Uyghur American Association and the World Uyghur Congress, these e-mail messages proved to be fake; they had never been sent by the uaa or the wuc. This is not the first time that hackers, most probably Chinese (as no one else has a motive in such provocations), have used the Internet to undermine Uyghur activism by impersonation, delivering viruses and blocking Web sites and occasionally interfering in personal e-mail exchanges (including academic, based on my own personal experience).1 This incident highlights both the positive and the negative significance of digital communications. On the one hand, Uyghurs have greatly expanded the use of the Internet, achieving a higher degree of visibility than ever before; on the other hand, by doing so they have become exposed to disruptions, malicious penetrations, and cyberattacks as a part of a long-standing conflict between them and China.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiasporas in the New Media Age
Subtitle of host publicationIdentity, Politics, and Community
PublisherUniversity of Nevada Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780874178166
ISBN (Print)9780874178159
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2010 by University of Nevada Press. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Net nationalism: The digitalization of the Uyghur diaspora'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this