Skip to comments.CHINA: China hires Net squad to sway opinion
Posted on 05/24/2005 11:43:50 PM PDT by kingsurfer
Undercover group of commentators working for the government will post on blogs and Internet bulletin boards as 'ordinary netizens'
The Times of India Friday, May 20, 2005
Beijing -- China has formed a special force of undercover online commentators to try to sway public opinion on controversial issues on the Internet, a newspaper said on Thursday.
China has struggled to gain control over the Internet as more and more people gain access to obtain information beyond official sources. The country has nearly 100 million Internet users, according to official figures, and the figure is rising.
A special force of online commentators had already been operating in Suqian city in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu since April, the Southern Weekend said.
Their job was to defend the government when negative comments appeared on Internet bulletin boards and chatrooms, the weekly quoted local officials as saying. Suqian citys propaganda department recruited the commentators from among government officials, the weekly said, adding that they must "understand (government) policies, be versed in (political) theories and be politically reliable". "They will guide public opinion as ordinary netizens. This is both important and effective," Ma Zhichun, one of the recruited commentators, was quoted as saying.
Zhan Jiang, dean of journalism at China Youth University for Political Sciences, did not approve of Internet special forces writing anonymously on the Internet.
"Its okay if they voice their opinions on the government websites as officials, but it is suspicious if they do it this way," Zhan said. "Its not good for the natural expression of public opinion."
But city governments in at least three provinces were recruiting online commentators, the weekly said.
"We are not the first and won't be the last (to have online commentators). The whole nation is playing the same game,"
(Excerpt) Read more at asiamedia.ucla.edu ...
Surely you jest. It is a certainty, with some of the foolish pro-Putineer comments made here by a few.
And I apologize for calling you Shirley.
No offense taken. The yahoos are pretty sure that dislike for Halfbright proves that they're on our side.
We'll have to teach the Chinese the art of the ZOT! Here kitty! :)
Indeed, I have noticed them as well. While this article is in the future tense, I believe such operations have been underway for quite some time:
Now the above forum, hosted on a server in Columbus, OH, USA, is but a small taste. Many of the folks who are frequent posters on the above (mostly) English language forum are also prolific on forums in both Chinese and English hosted from the PRC.
Oh, and by the way, the owner of the above forum also played a prominent (and possibly illegal) role (he was an Election Judge!) in originating the disinfo about "GOP vote fraud in Ohio!"
There have long been a cadre of them here at FR.
All your propagandas are belong to us!
By the way, the forum owner is S.L. Lee. There is also a "user" - Greg Ting - who is, apparently, also S.L. Lee, playing a few dialectic games on his own forum! The S.L.Lee persona is nearly neutral, wheras, Greg Ting is a rabidly pro Communist, borderline anti Semitic, Jew / Japanese / WASP hating, Michael Moore emulating, rat.