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Opinion: In an experimental live stream to Chinese viewers, a researcher finds a friendly social space sorely needed by stressed and lonely youth

4 months ago
Lucas Niewenhuis
V
iola Rothschild broadcast her life in Florida via the Chinese app Inke to better understand the phenomenon of real-time social media that is taking off in China and internationally. Her 5,000 viewers, many of whom were migrants, asked numerous questions, provided advice, gave her virtual gifts, and shared the isolation and pressures of their lives. "The sunny live-streaming cyberworld is cathartic, providing millions of young Chinese people a comfort and humanity that 'real life' often no longer can," she writes.
By Lucas Niewenhuis
Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the publication's newsletter, app and website.
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