BBS Post: State Council Says 98% of Internet Posts Harmonized?

Not only netizens with liberal political views oppose Internet censorship and state propaganda, both external and domestic. The following was originally posted in the usually hyper-nationalistic and militant Iron and Blood Forum (铁血社区), and now has spread to nearly 2000 other Chinese sites, translated by CDT:

Big Brother, if you want to leak [state secrets], this is not the best way to go about it.
 
Today, seeing the following sort of story on the Xinhua News website, and in keeping with the idea that all brilliant pieces of literature should be shared by everybody, I cannot but pass on the original text in its entirety.
 
Chinese citizens, according to the law, enjoy full freedom of expression on the Internet.

“Xinhua Network, Beijing, June 8 (by Zhao Chao, Ju Jing): The Information Office of the State Council of China (SCIO) on June 8 issued the white paper “State of the Internet in China,” which shows that Chinese citizens, according to the law, enjoy full freedom of expression on the Internet. 

According to the white paper, the “Constitution of the People’s Republic of China” accords citizens the right to freedom of expression.  Citizens of China receive legal protection for freedom of expression on the Internet, and they can express their opinions online in various ways.  Active online exchange is a major characteristic of the development of the Chinese Internet.  Its large numbers of bulletin board forums and blog articles would be difficult to imagine in all other nations of the world. 

The white paper states that Chinese websites greatly emphasize providing service to Internet users for the expression of opinion.  Approximately 80% of websites offer electronic announcement services.  China currently has over one million online forums and 220 million blog users.  According to rough figures, every day over 3 million statements are issued each day via forums, news commentaries, blogs, and other channels.  Over 66% of Chinese Internet users often issue opinions online, discussing all sorts of topics, and fully expressing their points of view and demands for personal interests. 

According to the white paper, new services recently applied by Internet sites offer even broader space to people for the expression of opinion.  Blogs, micro-blogs, shared videos, social-networking websites and other new network services have developed quickly in China.  They offer an ever more convenient platform to Chinese citizens for online exchanges.  Internet users have leapt to transmit information online and create online content, greatly enriching the content of information on the Internet.

The white paper also revealed that the Chinese government has actively promoted and strengthened related legislation and norms for Internet enterprises and services.  It has ceaselessly improved systems for protecting individual privacy for citizens online.  The “National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s Resolution on Protecting Internet Security” stipulates that illegal a) downloading, falsification, or deletion of other people’s mail or other digital material, and b) violation of citizens’ freedom and confidentiality of communication, constitute criminal activity, and criminal responsibility will be prosecuted according to relevant rules in the penal code.  According to the online industry’s norms of self-regulation, Internet service providers have the responsibility to protect the privacy of users, and upon offering such services, must publicly issue assurances of privacy protection, offering channels for reports of invasions of privacy and adopting effective measures for protecting individual privacy. ”

Disregarding the blah-blah cliche phrases, I am especially interested in the following section:

“China currently has over one million online forums and 220 million blog users.  According to rough figures, every day people issue over 3 million statements are each day via forums, news commentaries, blogs, and other channels.  Over 66% of Chinese Internet users often issue opinions online, discussing all sorts of topics, and fully expressing their points of view and demands for personal interests.”

I remember that Han Han has written that in China, when you read the news you have to make some calculations.  According to the white paper’s claims, “every day over 3 million statements are issued each day via forums, news commentaries, blogs, and other channels.”  If we assume that the 300 million figure in the white paper refers to online posts, that means that on average each forum daily publishes only 3 posts.  I personally feel that this figure is total nonsense.  If the activity of a forum were to descend to such a low rate, you might as well shut it down and forget about it.

Moreover, note that in calculating this 300 million as posts, I have already given the Information Office of the State Council some face.  But the SCIO did not want to save face for themselves. It’s report did not claim that the 300 million are not posts, but they did say that “people issue over 3 million statements each day via forums, news commentaries, blogs, and other channels.”  This is to say that no matter whether a post, a response to a post, or a microblog, all of these are included within this 300 million.  With apologies to the news bureau of the State Council, I am unable to help you patch up this inconsistency. 

It gets even more nonsensical.  According to what the white paper says, China has “220 million blog users,” moreover “66% of Chinese citizens on the Internet frequently issue opinions online.”  As everybody known, the number of citizens online in China is much greater than 220 million.  This figure only takes into account blog users.  But okay, let me make the following calculation: 220 million * 66% = 145,200,000.  If we say that these active 66% of online citizens only issue one opinion each day online, then there would also be a daily figure of 145,200,000 opinions.  But the white paper says that 3 million opinions are issued each day online.  145,200,000 – 3,000,000 = 142,200,000.  Where did these 142,200,000 opinions go?

Those brain damaged are arguing with me about the figures.  Okay, I’ll go to the extreme a bit.  In this 66% of Internet citizens, I’ll say only one in ten issues an opinion each day, and get rid of the remainder: 220 million * 6% = 14,200,000.  The figure of 3 million each day doesn’t reach the remainder.  If those brain-damaged still suspect that I am not going far enough [to reconcile the figures], I’m sorry, you can take your leave.  For those with an IQ below 75, don’t visit my blog.

Where did they go?

It’s obvious: they were eaten by the “river crabs.”

So, Information Office of the State Council, what do you want me to say about you?  You use a white paper at the national level to personally admit that every day “harmonized” opinions comprise a total of 98% of all opinions.  This isn’t even coming from what “fart people” like me said, but from what the Information Office of the State Council itself said.  What’s more, it was stated in a national level white paper.

This is the first time I have truly seen this kind of flagrant and obvious disgrace to China.

Therefore, I now realize what the “full freedom of expression” in the Xinhua headline means: From the perspective of a great body of “fart people,” 2% [of their expression] is the most that is treated leniently and fully.  If you [look at the problem] again less simple-mindedly, even this 2% isn’t left untouched!

The netizen Xie Zexin pointed out my mistakes.  I have already corrected them and I extend my appreciation to Xie.  I personally believe that 98% “harmonization” is crazy enough.  

June 13, 2010 9:28 PM
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