What Happened on September 19th
With tensions between China and Japan escalating because of a disputed territorial claim over a chain of islands, the Chinese government alerted Beijing residents of a ban on anti-Japan protests via text message. Previous protests had turned violent and resulted in damage, vandalism, and the detainment of a number of protesters. In conjunction with other factors, SMS text messaging appeared to be successful as the delivery mechanism for the citywide announcement. Only small-scale protests were reported in some regions. As citizens grow more dependent on mobile and social media technology for the latest news and alerts, centralized authorities have gained more open access to, and possibly influence of, the general populace’s daily lives.