China's 500 million Weibo users have emerged as an unlikely force in the battle against avian flu and potential pandemics, Hannah Beech writes. Users sidestep official censorship to share news and speculation about possible health risks -- including, most recently, news that 16,000 diseased pig carcasses had been dumped in a river that provides much of Shanghai's drinking water. "[O]rdinary Chinese citizens now know there is an alternate source of information -- one could even say truth -- beyond the state-controlled press. That mind shift is monumental," Beech writes.

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