China's Ministry Of Culture Joins Social Media, Immediately Inundated With 100,000 Hostile Comments

from the culture-clash dept

Here on Techdirt we've written numerous posts about China's progressive clampdown on social media, as it tries to control what is said, when, and by whom. That makes the following story in the Wall Street Journal unusual, since it tells of a move by China's Ministry of Culture to open things up by joining the popular social media platform Weibo. Here's the Ministry's first post there:

"Hello all netizens, the Ministry of Culture’s official Weibo account is now officially open! In the future, we will publish cultural policies and information here. We’re looking forward to everyone’s support and attention!"
It certainly got plenty of attention, but not much support, as the Wall Street Journal explains:
Three messages posted to the feed since Thursday afternoon had attracted over 100,000 comments a day later, most of them unfavorable or outright hostile.
There are a number of interesting points here. First, that the Ministry of Culture was so clueless about social media that it did not foresee this happening. Secondly, that the Chinese public are so desperate for some way of making their views known to the authorities that they seized on this new Weibo account, with dramatic results. Finally, as the Wall Street Journal article rightly notes, the comments betray considerable confusion about which Chinese ministry does what kind of censorship these days:
Many of those criticizing the culture ministry appeared to be under the mistaken impression that it was in charge of the widely reviled film and TV regulator. Later comments asked the ministry to post a message clarifying the different types of censorship undertaken by different government agencies, while others begged the ministry to convince the film and TV regulator to open its own Weibo account.
Given the experience of the Ministry of Culture, opening itself up to a massive criticism by joining social media is now probably the last thing the film and TV regulator plans to do.

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  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 23 Oct 2015 @ 5:06am

    First, that the Ministry of Culture was so clueless about social media that it did not foresee this happening.
    Until there's a follow-up news report stating 100,000 people were arrested for posting online.

    Never underestimate how far a communist government will go to rid itself of people wanting basic human rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      rw (profile), 23 Oct 2015 @ 6:14am

      Re:

      Have you looked at some of the Western governments? ;>

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Klaus, 24 Oct 2015 @ 2:42am

      Re:

      "...how far a communist government will go..."

      Now there's a thing; everyone including the Chinese government themselves still refer to the Chinese government as being communist. If Stalin & Lenin were resuscitated they would likely agree that it's communist, and a wonderful thing to behold. I'm not sure that Marx would though.

      I get a nice warm feeling whenever I hear that the Chinese are standing up for themselves. They've had a tough time of it for the last hundred years or so...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 24 Oct 2015 @ 9:42am

        Re: Re:

        If Stalin & Lenin were resuscitated they would likely agree that it's communist, and a wonderful thing to behold. I'm not sure that Marx would though.

        The Libertarians have a nice x & y axis graph which shows totalitarian communists lay right beside totalitarian fascists. Stalin and Hitler proved it so.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 23 Oct 2015 @ 6:33am

    No, there's no dissidence, there are no people unsatisfied, nothing to look here. Move along. - Chin.. Ahem. Virtually any Government in the world today.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2015 @ 6:42am

    This just in...

    In a surprising move today, Obama called for a press conference to commend China's new censorship efforts combined with an even greater shocker of reports that the Bush bro's were working the crowd saying that Obama is doing what Dubya wanted to get done and hopes that now Jeb might accomplish if we can just gets those fool Americans to vote him in. Return calls from Hillary's campaign expressed interest in potentially meeting with China's "Ministry of Culture" in efforts to form what they dub as a "Coalition of Culture" where Hillary will seek guidance on how to bring these new and interesting policies to America where they are sure to bring a new level of pride and satisfaction to the American People of the likes which may have never been seen before. News from Trumps office was bleak looking and indicated that he may not be in favor of these policies unless he can work out some kind of "Business Deal" in the matter.

    Stay tuned for more folks!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2015 @ 7:02am

    I would not be surprised

    If the "hostile" comments come from the west-backed wannabe terrorists in Xinjiang, multiplied through a bot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2015 @ 10:45am

      Re: I would not be surprised

      Or... maybe they're just regular people fed up with their government just like everyone else? Probably the latter not the former.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2015 @ 1:21am

        Re: Re: I would not be surprised

        I kind of isolated the outright hostile comments to these urguy people because the "regular" chinese people are too afraid to be more than slightly irked I with their government, I'd suppose.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    sorrykb (profile), 23 Oct 2015 @ 8:23am

    Anonymous Coward wrote
    If the "hostile" comments come from the west-backed wannabe terrorists in Xinjiang, multiplied through a bot.

    Yes, because there's certainly no reason for any non-terrorist in China to complain about human rights abuses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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