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. http://t.cn/SAMo3f

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, Sina.com 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:

重庆宣传部门花公款请了32位著名博主重庆品鉴,最后新闻报道说,名博主们认为“重庆是一座有思想有理想的城市。”我自98年开始上网,竟然32位名博主一个都不认得,惭愧啊。大家认认。http://t.cn/SAMo3f

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