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CHINESE GOVERNMENT MANAGES POLITICAL CRISES ON SOCIAL MEDIA WITH ENTERTAINMENT-ORIENTED NARRATIVES
This dissertation identifies an important strategy the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses to manage crisis events online: the entertainment-oriented narrative. It appears in three forms: (1) likening the reality to an unreal TV show or a fictional scene; (2) using cute emojis and anthropomorphism to represent crisis-related concepts; and (3) framing the country as a pop star (idol) and encourage citizens to defend it regardless. The CCP uses these tactics to trivialize the importance of crises, deflect public criticism, and discourage the public from critical thinking. Case studies show that this strategy has become a regular practice of the government that worked effectively when the crises do not seriously and massively affect local citizens' lives.