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Harnessing the Power of Collaborative Filtering

Comparing the Network Gatekeeping of Baidu Baike and Chinese Wikipedia
Han-Teng Liao
p. 35-49


China’s Internet development raises questions on the interplay of user autonomy and Internet governance in the larger Chinese-language online cultural sphere. To what extent has user autonomy been established to conduct information gatekeeping collaboratively online? To examine how the power of Chinese-language Internet users has been harnessed in relation to the filtering and censorship regime, the article applies the concept of “network gatekeeping” to analyse two major user-generated websites, Chinese Wikipedia and Baidu Baike, as different examples of collaborative filtering projects. Effectively they share “word-of-mouth” recommendations on encyclopaedic knowledge and information by user-contributors to edit content from different parts of the world. Two salient network gatekeeping mechanisms have emerged: the censorship mechanisms in Baidu Baike and internationalisation/localisation mechanisms in Chinese Wikipedia. The findings show a contrast between the two interaction patterns, indicating mainland-centric versus transnational Chinese gatekeeping processes employing different kinds of collaborative filtering and different levels of user autonomy.

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Bibliographical reference

Han-Teng Liao, « Harnessing the Power of Collaborative Filtering », China Perspectives, 2015/4 | 2015, 35-49.

Electronic reference

Han-Teng Liao, « Harnessing the Power of Collaborative Filtering », China Perspectives [Online], 2015/4 | 2015, Online since 01 January 2017, connection on 15 July 2018. URL :

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About the author

Han-Teng Liao

Han-Teng Liao (DPhil, 2014, Oxford) works as a research fellow with the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS), a research institute at the intersections of ICTs and international development,Estrada do Engenheiro Trigo, No. 2-4, Macau (

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