The Grand Signal

A digital magazine covering the intersection of technology, human rights and social change.

The Human Surveillance Network: China employs 2 million ‘internet opinion analysts’

Photo courtesy of Esther Dyson |

This magazine has written in the past of China’s use of paid shills, or wumao, to comment in favor of the government on online forums. Recent revelations however, have shown an immense initiative by the government to crack down on political dissidents and crack down on accusations of corruption and poor governance. On the advice of local think tanks, procedures have mandated a “four golden hours” period to react to accusations and viral anti-government opinion pieces.

The initiatve has, predictably, been met with intense hostility from the citizenship.

“Who pays their salaries?” one person asked. “They use taxpayers’ money to suppress taxpayers’ voices,” wrote another.

Many enounce these “public opinion analyst”, decrying the fact that a decrepyt, sleazy profession is being given the job security and status of highly coveted government jobs. Local Communisty Party propaganda departments however, continue to dish out large chunks of their budget to compromising the integrity of the online voice. Efforts to curb it among government circles have not been made.

via scmp

Is China’s online “monitoring” justified? Let us know in the comments section below.

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