Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

  • China Organ Harvesting Report, in 19 languages

  • Torture methods used by China police

  • Censorship

  • Massive protests & riots in China

  • Top 9 Posts (In 48 hours)

  • All Topics

  • Books to Read

    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
  • Did you know

    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
  • RSS Feeds for Category

    Organ Harvesting

    Human Rights

    Made in China







    Feed address for any specific category is Category address followed by 'Feed/'.

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 223 other followers

Government agents’ abusive Twitter messages target foreign media in China

Posted by Author on March 2, 2011

By Madeline Earp/CPJ Senior Asia Research Associate –

California-based China Digital Times (CDT) reports new Chinese-language Twitter commentators have appeared in the last week. Twitter is generally blocked in China, but heavily used by activists who access it by means of proxy networks overseas. The recent arrivals are vocal supporters of the government’s efforts to tamp down nascent “Jasmine Revolution” rallies anonymously organized in Chinese cities the past two Sundays.

“Some of these accounts have forged the names of activists and even included avatar photos of dissidents and activists,” CDT reports. Yet the tone of the comments resembles that of the so-called “Fifty Cent Party,” an informal name given to commentators hired by local government authorities to promulgate propaganda in online forums, according to CDT. 
Several of the messages appear intended to discredit international news reports. One February 21 message, from user yiwannianaini, reposts other Twitter user links about the protests with the comment: “Once again, foreigners are stirring things up and trying to set Chinese people against each other.” Another alongside a summary of a BBC Chinese news report reads, “Most information online is fake. Rumors!”

One foreign journalist, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak for their news outlet, told CPJ by e-mail of a flood of personal threats and abuse received via Twitter in the past week–including death threats.

These concerning developments are reminiscent of pre-Olympics Beijing in 2008, when at least 10 Beijing-based journalists were anonymously threatened, and nationalistic commentators tore apart international coverage of riots in Tibet. Back then, the Chinese government denied encouraging the xenophobic activity. They did nothing to discourage it either: Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu characterized foreign media coverage as “provocative, biased, and unfair.”

The official attitude toward the foreign press corps has not evolved in the past three years. Jiang was on duty again Tuesday, responding to journalists’ outrage at the detentions and assault they and colleagues met with while reporting at the site of protests on Sunday. The Associated Press described the press conference as “testy.” Jiang “seemed to imply that reporters who went to the leisure spots in Shanghai and Beijing were part of an anti-China plot,” according to AP.

The Foreign Ministry should condemn the use of force by police and security officials on Sunday. It should also act to protect international journalists who are the targets of online abuse. Information authorities in China have the capacity to block sensitive keywords from the Internet at a moment’s notice. They have already arrested several bloggers they suspect of posting information about the revolution. It is clear that if the government wanted to do something about this they could, but they have chosen not to speak out. Allowing anti-media sentiment to develop will not discourage news of anti-government activity, but it could put the foreign press corps at real risk.

Committee to Protect Journalists

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.