According to the “Blue Book on New Media Development,” published July 7 by China’s Academy of Social Sciences, there were over 400 million Internet users in mainland China and over 100 million Internet users in China’s rural areas as of March 2010.
The “Blue Book” also states that some networking sites such as Facebook can be used to damage China’s security.
Many Internet sites subsequently closed users’ comments on the “Blue Book” to suppress feedback.
The Epoch Times interviewed Mr. Hu Ping, chief editor of Beijing Spring, a journal dedicated to promoting civil rights and freedom in China.
According to Hu, the statement about Facebook is groundless. As evidence, he cited the statement of Cui Baoguo, vice-chairman of Qinghua University’s College of News and Media, who said during the press conference for the “Blue Book” that traditional media can cause similar damage.
Hu said that this research is being used against Facebook and similar social networking sites in an attempt by the authorities to control these sites.
“We all know that if a government is overthrown because people exchange information, it means that the government should be overthrown,” Hu said. “Only a regime built on violence and dishonesty would regard Facebook as an enemy. So the ‘Blue Book’ simply shows that the communist regime is all about violence and lies.”
Hu thinks that under the dictatorship of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), many people are aware that some experts and scholars actually serve as the government’s mouthpiece and are used by the CCP to defend itself.
Many Internet users also expressed displeasure with the report. One commented: “Let’s stop using the Internet, as we might become traitors the next day and risk being accused of spying.”
Another said, “Facebook and other social networking sites open up a platform for telling the truth. People can draw their own conclusion based on the information without being misled by China’s Ministry of Propaganda. Thus the CCP thinks that these sites shake its foundation and expose its lies.”
Some Internet sites in mainland China, such as www.163.com and www.sohu.com, simply closed the comment section on this issue to avoid having to continually delete comments not favorable to the regime.
The original research, officially titled “The Development of New Media 2010,” was jointly published by News and Media Research Center and Social Sciences Publishing of China’s Academy of Social Sciences.