Hundreds protested in the streets of Beijing yesterday after the Chinese government announced plans to employ two million “public opinion analysts” with the duty of patrolling comments on social media websites.
China has long been accused of stifling citizens’ freedom, especially that dealing with Internet access.
The most famous incident occurred last spring, during the height of One Direction fame. When the British pop group’s hit “What Makes You Beautiful” reached one million views on YouTube, the Chinese government censored the video by replacing the five boys with images of the Chinese Olympic Gymnastics team.
Chinese Assistant Secretary of State Liu Jing explained the decision to monitor such websites. “There is so much stupidity on the Internet today, and most of it has been found to be detrimental to our people’s health. Recent studies suggest that people who look at more than ten cat memes per day are very likely to develop heart disease. So, you see, this is for the people’s health. No more cat memes; no more heart disease.”
Americans sounded off regarding the policy. Some agreed, some disagreed, and others showed blatant ignorance of Chinese culture.
Daryl Jackson, an American tourist, was seen running through the streets of Beijing naked, burning a Japanese flag. “I just plain don’t like Chinese people. They’re always stealing our jobs and eating with sticks and riding their bikes around and it makes me angry.”
However, Jackson seemed to agree with the government’s decision to monitor social media.
“Well hell yeah, YouTube is American. And I don’t want some Chinese guy friending me on Facebook every five minutes. Anyway, it’s only two million people they hired. I mean, there’s like five trillion Chinese people to choose from, so that’s only like… fifteen percent of Chinese people out there.”
Another American tourist, Jack DeFluff, commented on the issue. “What? China has computers? Since when?”
In response to such criticism, the Chinese government un-liked the Facebook page “America.”
by Douglas Hummingsworth