Reverse-engineering censorship in China: Randomized experimentation and participant observation →

via and Science magazine

To find out the details of how the system works, we supplemented the typical current approach (conducting uncertain and potentially unsafe confidential interviews with insiders) with a participant observation study, in which we set up our own social media site in China. While also attempting not to alter the system we were studying, we purchased a URL, rented server space, contracted with Chinese firms to acquire the same software as used by existing social media sites, and—with direct access to their software, documentation, and even customer service help desk support—reverse engineered how it all works.

If you are considering a move into China with your community strategy, you need to read this.