The CCP Launches A Hotline to Report Suspicious Posts or Comments About the Chinese Communist Party
Chinese cyber regulatory agencies have launched a hotline targeting netizens who critic the ruling Communist Party. Even though the regulators did not specify the punishments that online critics will face, they vowed to crack down on the country’s long-term dissenters. This actions comes only three months to the party’s 100th anniversary to be held later in July.
Could this, essentially, snitching hotline be Xi Jinping’s brand-new strategy to curb dissent in China? In essence, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) directed on 9th April that its citizens could use the hotline to report anyone who uses the internet to spread revolting remarks about the Communist Party’s leadership and history or portrays the party negatively.
The CCP Hotline Sets A Bad Precedent in the Digital Era
A notice from CAC revealed that some “people have spread historic nihilistic misrepresentations online, maliciously distorting, defaming, and denying the party’s history.” The notice continued that the CAC hoped that “that the majority of internet users will actively play their part in supervising society … and enthusiastically report harmful information.”
These efforts are not new to China as they have conducted similar campaigns in the past. But it does show that the government has not changed and is still as authoritarian as ever. It also shows that not much has changed in this growing empire.
You either buy into the story that they are telling you or stay quiet. If you do not stay quiet and seek to be snarky or show sarcasm, you can find yourself in trouble.
Historical Nihilism and What It Means For Chinese Citizens
The Chinese administration is known over the years to use the phrase “historical nihilism” as a description of public notion and doubts when explaining the past events and achievements of the Chinese Communist Party.
The Chinese government has been on record for its tight censorship on key foreign social media sites, news outlets, and search engines. Some of the popular websites banned by Xi Jinping’s government include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Messenger, Viber, Tinder, Google, YouTube, Telegram, Google Play, Line, Netflix, Gmail, Drobox, and WordPress.
Earlier this year, Chinese legislators made legal amendments to the country’s constitution stipulating that individuals who “insult, slander or infringe upon” the memory of China’s national heroes and martyrs face jail time of up to three years.”
Chinese laws also impose hefty financial sanctions among social media sites that fail to block critical content. The legislation similarly prescribes temporary suspensions as a form of punitive action for websites that fail to comply with this directive.
CAC’s communication comes only a week after the local authorities in the Eastern province of Jiangsu jailed a teenager for posting “offensive” views online concerning Japan’s historical occupation of Nanjing.
The Chinese government has not let up its efforts to control the narrative and continues to execute several campaigns surrounding the public consciousness and overall awareness of issues. These recent events show that it is essential to be aware of economic data, societal data, and other data points from the Chinese government as they may be misleading.
The CCP Culture Seeps Elsewhere
What is concerning is that CCP culture is spreading abroad. The CCP culture influence was noticed during the pandemic. Neighbors turned on each other for having local parties or small get-togethers and quickly ran to authorities to let them know of the egregious acts committed by their neighbors. One will find it a bit alarming how quickly individuals took it upon themselves to see something normal as simple get-togethers as something to report.