Chongqing hired bloggers to toot its horn

The following post by Zhao Chu (赵楚), a military affairs expert in Shanghai who serves as chief editor of Military Affairs (Point), was deleted from Sina Weibo sometime before 1:31pm Hong Kong time today, February 20, 2012. Zhao Chu currently has just under 119,000 followers, according to numbers from Sina Weibo. [More on deleted posts at the WeiboScope Search, by the Journalism and Media Studies Centre].

The propaganda office of Chongqing used public funds to invite 32 [so-called] well-known bloggers to evaluate Chongqing, and the resulting news report says that these bloggers believe “Chongqing is a city of ideas and ideals.” I’ve been active online since 1998 and I’ve never heard of any of these well-known bloggers. How strange! Everyone judge for themselves.

The link provided in the post is for this article posted to an official news website in Chongqing in November 2011, which explains how the city invited 32 “well-known bloggers” from People’s Daily Online, Xinhua News Agency, and other sites and “online communities” to take a tour of Chongqing and learn about its policies.

A re-post of the above post, made by user Xiao Dang (小党), a Southern Metropolis Daily journalists with just under 23,000 followers on Sina Weibo, was also deleted by site censors. The Xiao Dang post said simply: “Many of these [bloggers] are actually fifty-centers [hired propagandists] from Chongqing.”

The original Chinese-language post from Zhao Chu follows:


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