Living in China's social media mirage

China's version of Twitter, Weibo, provides Chinese residents the illusion of being part of a free and open social network but the platform is a tightly regulated one, that actively filters what's important and what's not.

As China prepares for a generational power shift this week, a similar shift is happening online that is testing the limits and displaying the evolution of China's legions of state-directed censors.

Since its launch three years ago, Weibo, China's version of Twitter, has become the country's water cooler, a place where nearly 300 million internet users opine on everything from Korean soap operas to China's latest political intrigue.

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