Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Keeping up with public opinion

The number of people monitoring the Internet in China seems huge. But, keep in mind that Chinese Internet users post 100 million messages a day.

China employs two million microblog monitors state media say
More than two million people in China are employed by the government to monitor web activity, state media say, providing a rare glimpse into how the state tries to control the internet.

The Beijing News says the monitors, described as internet opinion analysts, are on state and commercial payrolls…

Shenzen Network Police
The report by the Beijing News said they… are "strictly to gather and analyse public opinions on microblog sites and compile reports for decision-makers"…

It is believed that the two million internet monitors are part of a huge army which the government relies on to control the internet…


Analysis

Dong Le BBC Chinese Service

China's internet is one of the most controlled and censored in the world.

Websites deemed to be subversive are blocked. Politically sensitive postings are routinely deleted . Even the name of the former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao was censored when rumours were circulating on the internet that his family had amassed a fortune while he was in power.

But with the rapid growth of internet users, the ruling Communist Party has found itself fighting an uphill battle.

The Beijing News, while reporting the story of microblog monitors, has admitted that it is impossible for the government to delete all "undesirable" postings.

The more postings deleted, the more they appear, it says…

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