#AceNewsServices – CHINA (Beijing) – October 08 – A central government coordination body called Central Internet Security and Informatization Leading Group was established on February 27, 2014 led by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li keqiang and head of the propaganda authority Liu Yunshan.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li keqiang and head of the propaganda authority Liu Yunshan.
Such high level coordination group suggests that internet information security has become the top priority of the Chinese government.
‘ Central Internet Security Group ‘
In addition the protection of domestic information network, the control over information flow in the Internet through censorship and opinion channelling are considered as most important “stability maintenance” routine. In order to strengthen the monitoring of the Internet, the Chinese government decided to endorse “Internet opinion analyst” as an official occupation status.
Many critics point out that the policy implies a change of the Chinese government propaganda tactic, yet relatively little is known about how opinions are “channelled” and what mechanisms analysts use in order to do their jobs.
This begs the question: what exactly do on-line opinion analysts do?
Different from the “Fifty-Cent Party,” people who are responsible for channelling public opinions by writing online comments and deleting posts, online opinion analysts use computer software to monitor social networking sites and forums, collect netizen opinions and attitudes, compile reports and submit the reports to decision-makers. Opinion analysts provide crisis management strategies for private, state and party-affiliated institutions such as universities, charity groups and civic organizations, as well as local and national governmental authorities.
According to The Beijing News, roughly 2 million people in China currently work as public opinion analysts, officially outnumbering China’s 1.5 million active armed service members.
A recently leaked evaluation of an opinion-channelling program at Peking University reveals much about the mechanism of Party-led opinion making in China. The research centre, led by the Communist Youth League of China, is responsible for the coordination of opinion channelling and analysis within the University.
The program monitors on-line conversations and messaging within the University community and publishes regular reports analysing online opinion for University administrators.