Douban
豆瓣
Type of site
Web 2.0, Social network service, Online music, movie and book database
Available inChinese
Key peopleYang Bo
URLwww.douban.com
CommercialYes
RegistrationOptional
LaunchedMarch 6, 2005; 16 years ago (2005-03-06)
Current statusActive

Douban.com (Chinese: 豆瓣; pinyin: Dòubàn), launched on March 6, 2005, is a Chinese social networking service website that allows registered users to record information and create content related to film, books, music, recent events, and activities in Chinese cities. It could be seen as one of the most influential web 2.0 websites in China. Douban also owns an internet radio station, which ranks No.1 in the iOS App Store in 2012. Douban was formerly open to both registered and unregistered users. For registered users, the site recommends potentially interesting books, movies, and music to them in addition to serving as a social network website such as WeChat, Weibo and record keeper; for unregistered users, the site is a place to find ratings and reviews of media.

Douban has about 200 million registered users as of 2013.[1]

The site serves pan-Chinese users, and its contents are in Chinese. It covers works and media in Chinese and in foreign languages. Some Chinese authors and critics register their official personal pages on the site.

Name

The site named after a Hutong in Chaoyang District, Beijing where the founder lived while he began work on the website.[2]

Founder

Douban (Beijing Douwang Technology Co. Ltd.)[3] was founded by Yang Bo (杨勃). He had majored in physics at Tsinghua University before he attended University of California, San Diego as a PhD student. After receiving his PhD in computational physics, he worked as a research scientist at IBM. Later, he returned to China, becoming the CTO of a software company founded by one of his friends. In 2005, Yang started to create a web 2.0 site for travelling named Lüzong (驴宗), initially a one-person project at a Starbucks in Beijing. In a couple of months, however, the site was transformed into what is now known as Douban.com.[4]

Timeline

Office of Douban.com
Office of Douban.com

Controversies

Censorship

Douban has attracted a large number of intellectuals who are eager to discuss social issues. This makes Douban vulnerable to censorship by the Chinese government. Douban reviews all content posted on the website, preventing some material from being posted in the first place, and taking down other materials after the fact.[16]

In March 2009, Douban removed art paintings of the Renaissance on the grounds that they contained 'pornographic' elements.[16][17][18] This led to a campaign called "Portraits: Dress up" in which internet users were asked to dress up images of famous renaissance nudes in a protest against Douban's self-censorship. The administrators then removed the discussion about the campaign.[16]

That year also saw the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, and Douban further extended its keyword list to ban any terms that are likely to relate to the incident.[19][20] One example is the ban on mentioning Victoria Park in Hong Kong, the venue where the memorial gathering for the 20th anniversary was held, in the fear that it may lead to sensitive discussions. Users also found that some discussion groups, like the Hong Kong cultural study group hkren (一兜)[1], were suddenly banned and all topics were removed without any notice. This angered some members, causing them to move to other similar websites that employ less strict self-censorship policies.[16]

In 2011, some Chinese lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups announced that they planned to boycott Douban, as their posts announcing an LGBT-themed film festival had been censored by the website. In mainland China, films and television programs with LGBT themes are subject to state censorship.[21]

The Wandering Earth ratings

Douban has been accused that many users of Douban purposely gave The Wandering Earth, a 2019 Chinese science-fiction film, one star. Critics further accused that some users "change their given five stars to one star" and some users are paid to give one star to the film, which later turned out to be false. On 12 February 2019, Douban officially announced that "Mass score-changing is abnormal and it won't be counted in the total score. To avoid such incident, we are urgently optimizing product features." in its official Sina Weibo account.[22]

Ban on Accounts

Douban bans on the accounts if they think the accounts are posting ads. The website login by verification code from the registered phone. If the account is banned from Douban, then this account no longer can login.

Also, Douban allows real-name reporting for misinformation or infringing content posted to the forum. Since a significant amount of celebrity gossips or controversial issues have been first exposed on Douban, public opinions on Douban are often closely monitored. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see discussion posts related to celebrity-related affairs being reported and removed on Douban, which will also cause the posting accounts to be banned.[23]

Privacy

On April 15, 2021, the Beijing Internet Court announced that it had accepted a case involving disputes over the privacy rights and personal information protection of the "Douban" App. In this case, a Douban user accused Douban App of collecting personal location information and demanded Douban compensate him for a loss of 1 yuan.[24] Douban was sued for infringing user privacy. According to the user, although he never authorized Douban to obtain personal geographic location information, Douban targeted him to push advertisements based on his location.[25]

Douban declares that Douban's "Privacy Policy" shows that location information is additional personal data collected, and users can give or withdraw authorization at any time. According to this policy, Douban does not admit that collecting location information is an infringement of user privacy.[26]

History of Privacy Issue

Douban's administrators are suspected of infringing user privacy. In 2015, some users posted on Douban, saying that Douban violated their privacy. The user stated that Douban deleted his backup in a private group (only the user can access it) without his consent. The backup data of its private group is completely confidential information, and no one should be able to see it except the users. [27]

References

  1. ^ "豆瓣宣布月覆盖用户数达2亿 同比增长一倍". TechWeb. 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  2. ^ "豆瓣杨勃:为梦想而一直努力". Archived from the original on 2019-01-30. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  3. ^ "豆瓣". www.douban.com. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  4. ^ "douban profile". crunchbase. Retrieved 2011-12-11.
  5. ^ "发现小组". Douban.com. 2005-03-06. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
  6. ^ "豆瓣同城_上海". Douban.com. 2005-03-06. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
  7. ^ Techweb. "豆瓣宣布月覆盖用户数达2亿 同比增长一倍". www.techweb.com.cn (in Chinese). Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  8. ^ Techweb. "豆瓣宣布月覆盖用户数达2亿 同比增长一倍". www.techweb.com.cn (in Chinese). Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  9. ^ Techweb. "豆瓣宣布月覆盖用户数达2亿 同比增长一倍". www.techweb.com.cn (in Chinese). Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  10. ^ Techweb. "豆瓣宣布月覆盖用户数达2亿 同比增长一倍". www.techweb.com.cn (in Chinese). Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  11. ^ "豆瓣上线内容付费产品"豆瓣时间" 首推课程为北岛的诗歌课_科技_腾讯网". tech.qq.com. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  12. ^ "豆瓣上线内容付费产品"豆瓣时间" 首推课程为北岛的诗歌课_科技_腾讯网". tech.qq.com. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  13. ^ "新京报 - 好新闻,无止境". www.bjnews.com.cn. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  14. ^ "新京报 - 好新闻,无止境". www.bjnews.com.cn. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  15. ^ "新京报 - 好新闻,无止境". www.bjnews.com.cn. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  16. ^ a b c d "泥马战河蟹 草根斗权威". BBC中文网. 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  17. ^ "给大卫像穿衣抗议政府封网". BBC中文网. 2009-02-09. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  18. ^ "网友响应反低俗号召 给名画"穿上"衣服". 信息时报. 2009-02-10. Archived from the original on 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  19. ^ Custer, C. (3 June 2013). "What to Expect on June 4, China's Unofficial and Orwellian 'Internet Maintenance Day'". Tech in Asia. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  20. ^ Honorof, Marshall (4 June 2013). "China marks Tiananmen Massacre with 'Internet Maintenance Day'". NBC News.
  21. ^ Jiang, Jessie (1 July 2011). "Beijing's Gay Community Fights Censorship". Time.
  22. ^ Chen, Yuxi (2019-02-12). 《流浪地球》遭大量改分?豆瓣:前500热评仅4人跨星修改. The Paper (in Chinese). Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  23. ^ https://www.douban.com/about/guideline#accountguide. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ cnBeta. "豆瓣回应"被诉侵犯用户隐私":存误解原告已撤诉 双方达成和解 - 社交 - SNS 社交网络". cnBeta.COM (in Chinese). Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  25. ^ "豆瓣被起诉侵犯用户隐私,互联网企业没有清白者_详细解读_最新资讯_热点事件_36氪". www.36kr.com. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  26. ^ "豆瓣被起诉侵犯用户隐私,互联网企业没有清白者_详细解读_最新资讯_热点事件_36氪". www.36kr.com. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  27. ^ "豆瓣被起诉侵犯用户隐私,互联网企业没有清白者_详细解读_最新资讯_热点事件_36氪". www.36kr.com. Retrieved 2021-04-19.