Yesterday, a well-known microblogger, nicknamed Hua Zong, was said to have lost contact with the outside world after being detained by the police. Hua Zong became famous for his expertise of appraising luxury watches, which helped expose Yang Dacai, a Shaanxi official who was spotted to wear expensive watches on different occasions, of accepting bribes.
It is alleged that he was detained for being involved in a few online rumors, but the police did not respond to the statement yesterday. Many people were astonished at the news, and some of them soon expressed their dissatisfaction over the authorities' campaign to crack down on Internet rumors.
Some celebrities who are active on the Internet have been detained or sued recently. Many people think it is the consequence of the government "reorganizing and rectifying" the Internet. Some outspoken liberals are showing their concerns.
Under the current circumstances, there are a few points which must be clarified.
It is true that government authorities are intensifying administration over the Internet, and this is a necessary and justified effort.
The connection between this crackdown campaign and the detentions and controls over these web celebrities is not what really matters. People's attention should be focused on whether they have violated the law. As long as the police actions are based on facts and laws, then these detentions and controls are justifiable. The deterrence that many people have felt from the campaign, to be honest, is not a bad thing.
It is a simple-minded statement that the police are deliberately trying to taint the glittering images of these web celebrities. People do not know whether what they have done on the table might be different from under the table.
China's legal construction has made breakthroughs in these years. It is unthinkable that the authorities to fabricate a large number of injustices for some political purposes in the eyes of enlightened Chinese people. Such ideas are paranoia.
People should have confidence in the police. The crackdown campaign on rumormongering and slandering is aimed to guard the order of law. The presumption of guilt over the authorities' actions is baseless.
For a while, some people have gone too far on the Internet. Some admitted that they have indulged themselves, though they first thought it was OK or even could bring certain benefits.
We are not saying that people being held legally responsible have not done good deeds before. Hua Zong, for example, at least contributed to the fall of Yang Dacai. Yang was sentenced to 14 years in jail for bribery.
But Hua Zong's accomplishments cannot compensate for his possible law-breaking acts. Just like some corrupt officials who used to do a good job at their post, as long as people break the law, they deserve punishment accordingly.