Monday, December 29, 2008

Chinese Corruption Meets the Internet

From the WSJ's China Journal:

China’s Internet vigilantes have been known to cost individuals their privacy, peace of mind, and jobs for engaging in anti-social behavior, animal cruelty, adultery or perceived slights towards China. This has led to some soul-searching about the appropriate limits of China’s free-wheeling Internet culture, with a couple of recent lawsuits pointing the way to greater regulation of netizen behavior.

Lately, though, the infamous ‘human flesh search engines’ seem to be setting their sights somewhat higher, as a string of recent high-profile cases involving officials attests.

More here (ChinaStakes). There's also a somewhat scary downside to how quickly Chinese netizens are being stirred to action. I have to imagine that at least some within the Party who are getting nervous about this - especially when there isn't an easy way that popular discontent gets managed as it does in democracies. Who knows if this will make a difference? My sense is that it will only drive the activity that is generally quite blatant, underground.

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