Online trolling suppresses public opinion

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-10-17 0:23:01

Online writers Zhou Xiaoping and Hua Qianfang were invited to attend a Wednesday symposium on literature and art in Beijing, shaking hands with and getting encouragement from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Their attendance became a hot issue in cyberspace.

Liberal Chinese celebrities, who have labeled Zhou as a representative of the "50 cent party," a term used to describe online commentators posting comments favorable toward Party policies, took this chance to launch attacks against Zhou again.

Jealousy is a reason for the vitriol. Objectively speaking, if those online liberal celebrities were honored to attend the symposium that gathered artists of national renown to communicate with the top leader, they would have boasted of their status on the Internet.

Zhou was deluged with verbal threats after attending the symposium. This is the epitome of online public opinion.

Coming from the grass roots, Zhou could strike a chord with many young Chinese with his work. Nonetheless, he is not flawless. His rivals could make use of loopholes in his articles to attack him.

There are few people willing to publicly spread positive views as Zhou does. Many Zhou-like online writers and commentators have been "trolled" on the Internet such that some renowned celebrities are scared to speak out in the online world. 

Zhou deserves respect as he is brave enough to express opinions unpleasant to online liberal celebrities.

It's easier for a person outside the system to be critical of the government on the Internet than to spread positive energy. Being an online critic is low risk. Some have even gained fame through abusing others.

Public opinion should be diversified. In this aspect, Zhou's existence is valuable to online public opinion. Despite enduring criticism all the time, Zhou has established a firm foothold in the online community and won a great number of supporters. His Sina Weibo account is one of the most active ones. 

Some demand perfection in Zhou out of ulterior political motivations. Zhou and Hua weren't invited to the symposium because they are perfect.  

The Internet is supposed to be an open community that could accommodate different thoughts. What Zhou and Hua are enduring is a test for the openness of the Internet world. 

The online world should be harmonious, which is built upon the balanced expression of opinions. The more voices that people like Zhou make, the more diversified and healthier the online world will be.

Posted in: Editorial

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