The Chinese government, which has expressed its extreme disapproval of an online poll democracy poll in Hong Kong, isn’t doing much better with online surveys of its own. More than 40,000 people responded to a poll held this month by China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, and 74% (link in Chinese) said that government officials who neglect their duties and lack self-discipline constitute a serious problem.
For a while now, the Chinese government has been trying to establish more of a digital presence. Thousands of Chinese authorities and agencies have been signing up to social media and last year, China’s anti-graft body revamped its website to include sections for public comments as well as supposedly anonymous tips. The goal of all this, observers say, has been to control the often heated online conversation on social media outlets like Weibo.
That may be a tough sell: The poll found that 80% of respondents believe anti-corruption efforts were not doing enough and that authorities were being ineffective because they are “afraid of those who violate the rules,” according to the survey. Commenting on the survey results, one blogger on the microblog Weibo wryly observerd (registration required), “Maybe they’ll start hiring people to give positive responses.”