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Links 1 through 10 of 22 by David Bandurski tagged microblog

Chinese media report today that "Peaceful Wuhan," the official microblog of the Wuhan Public Security Bureau, made a post yesterday asking the public to provide information about a recent bomb blast in the city, offering a 100,000-yuan reward for information leading to a breakthrough. On December 1, a bomb blast next to a middle school in Wuhan killed two passersby and injured 10 other people. Wuhan police quickly responded to the case on social media, even providing surveillance video taken of the street where the blast occurred.

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According to an article in today's edition of Guangdong's official Nanfang Daily newspaper, a suspect wanted for his involvement in a recent assault in a bar contacted police in Zhongshan through their official microblog to ask whether he would be eligible for release on bail if he turned himself in. After receiving a reply from police through his microblog, the suspect turned himself at a prearranged police station and was processed. The article is an interesting look at how social media are changing in small ways how police and government offices interact with the public. Police microblogs represent the largest section of official microblogs in China. According to an April 2011 report by the Public Opinion Monitoring Center of People's Daily Online, there were 105 microblogs operated by police agencies at various levels nationwide in China. Propaganda offices were a distant second, with 44 microblogs nationwide. 

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By clicking on the above headline, readers can visit the microblog account on Sina Weibo for China's Labor Daily newspaper, which like a number of traditional media is posting regular updates from the weibo today of malfunctions and delays on China's brand-new high-speed rail line. One recent post reads: "On the basis of information in microblog posts, it seems that this current malfunction has affected the G212, G105, D182, D86, G109, G120 and G14 trains." And where is Xinhua's report? Nothing yet.

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Chinese media report that China's Red Cross Society, a government-run charity organization not affiliated with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), set up an official Sina Microblog account and made its first post yesterday afternoon in an attempt to stem a growing scandal over the possible misuse of charity funds by subsidiary organizations. Fielding questions on the microblog (weibo), Wang Rupeng (王汝鹏), a spokeswoman, said that ongoing incident was "both a good thing and a bad thing" for the organization. She said that while it had severely damaged the reputation of the Red Cross Society, the scandal also provided an impetus for positive organizational change. China's Red Cross Society has been severely criticized in recent days not just for possible corruption, but for bungling the handling of the crisis since it emerged in late June. 

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Writing on Sina's microblog platform today, China Youth Daily reporter Cao Lin (曹林) notes a number of humorous (and sometimes cynical) contrasts between China and the United States on a range of issues. "I know the U.S. isn't better than China in plenty of areas," he writes, "but in these areas the U.S. is definitely strong. Just look at how objective these are!" The contrasts are then listed out in pairs. "In America, when a mayor sees someone they must ingratiate themselves; In China whoever sees the mayor must ingratiate himself.  In American, ordinary people can mess things up, but those in office cannot; In China, those in office can mess things up, but ordinary people cannot. In America, the mission of intellectuals is to criticize the government; In China, the mission of intellectuals is to praise the government's mission . . . Americans like to come to China and adopt children; Chinese like to go to America and give birth to children." The list is worth a good laugh.

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As Google's hacking accusations against China become international news today, Hu Xijin (胡锡进), the editor-in-chief of China's Global Times newspaper, a Xinhua publication known for its nationalist bent, fumes on his Sina Microblog account, which has close to 10.5 million followers: "How many officials does China have daily whose computers are attacked? Why don't we make this public? Now it's all foreign countries pointing the finger at China, saying China is attacking foreigners' computers, and our overseas students are all spies. This is all the result of insufficient transparency of information in China. Those people and work units who have problems [ie, suffer attacks on their computers] don't wish to or aren't allowed to say so. Our security departments don't reveal anything. They should know, China is a fair and square country, not a country underground. But we are silent and circumspect, still looking like an underground Party, not daring to speak."

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News that Osama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader behind the September 11, 2011, attacks, was killed in a Navy SEALS-led attack on his compound in Pakistan tops discussion today on China's popular microblog platform, Sina Weibo. One popular Sina Weibo posts takes readers to a news piece on Sina.com aggregating newspaper front pages in China today that feature bin Laden (http://t.cn/hg550X).  

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Cultural scholar Wu Zuolai (吴祚来) writes on his microblog today: "China is always counting down. Countdown to the Asian Games. Countdown to Hong Kong's return. Countdown to the Olympics. Countdown to the Shanghai World Expo. So there's nothing to countdown for now, right? Sure there is. We're counting down to 2012 [and the Party Congress]. And we're counting down to the retirement of Big Brother A, Big Brother B and Big Brother C. A people who cannot look to the future or to the world, without hope, always counting down in order to feel some sense of hope and a turnaround. You want luck to change in your favor. Well, let's count down!"

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Writing in today's edition of Sichuan's Huaxi Metropolis Daily, a commercial spin-off of the official Sichuan Daily, Wang Shichuan (王石川) voices serious doubts about whether the state-run oil company Sinopec, which was visited with scandal last week over the apparent use of public funds to purchase expensive Chinese liquor, can carry out a credible investigation of itself. Sinopec has said publicly that it will get to the bottom of misconduct within the company, and hold those responsible to account. Wang writes: "There are some problems that aren't such that they can be simply rectified [internally]. Some already deal with illegal conduct and violations of [Party] discipline, and are these things one can rectify all by oneself?"

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The land management office of Anhui's Lixin County (利辛县) held a press conference yesterday at which authorities said that Zhou Wenbin (周文彬), who exposed corruption at the office through a microblog post earlier this week in which he also confessed his own complicity, has been dismissed for unspecified "personal issues" (生活问题). Reports also say that discipline inspectors from the prefectural-level city of Bozhou (亳州市), which administers the county, have begun an investigation into Zhou's allegations. In an editorial in Southern Metropolis Daily daily, writer Zhu Shaohua (朱少华) expresses concern about Zhou's safety and says more must be done to protect those who come forward with allegations of corruption.  http://bit.ly/hdMn2x

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