A clean and upright online environment is the hallmark of China: Global Times editorial
Published: Jul 04, 2024 08:56 PM
Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

The internet connects countless minds and ideas, yet within this vast expanse, some shadows inevitably emerge. In recent years, a few users have posted and spread sensational or even extreme comments to attract attention and profit from the internet. Some of these voices, cloaked in the guise of "patriotism," latch onto popular locations, people, or events, inciting anger among those unaware of the facts. The actual effect of such actions is the promotion of irrational ideas, which is detrimental to China's current major policies of increased openness and improved business environment. Multiple social media platforms have already intervened, implementing various measures to foster a clean and upright online environment through collective social efforts.

Some extreme comments, masquerading as "righteousness," are lurking beneath the surface. The characteristics of the internet amplify their harmful impact on national interests. These comments quickly spread on the internet, fueled by algorithms and traffic, and triggered disputes through proxy accounts. Extreme remarks often use misleading descriptions and emotional agitation. Certain individuals or organizations exploit these tactics to spread panic online, mislead public perception, disturb public emotions, incite negative public opinion, intensify social conflicts, and even affect the overall image of the Chinese society abroad.

In this era of interconnectedness, we must present an open, inclusive and rational image of a great nation, which requires the joint effort of the entire society. The rhetoric that glorifies extreme actions as "heroic" is not genuine patriotism. It is easily captured and amplified by ill-intentioned foreign forces, becoming a tool to attack our country. It can also lead to misunderstandings about our social climate and rule of law in the international community, damaging our national image. 

No true patriot would want to see this happen. Broad-mindedness ensures steady progress, and a heart of benevolence wins the world over. In this interconnected world, true patriots need to approach problems and challenges with a broad vision and rational thinking.

China's opening-up is not just about economic and policy-level openness, but also about high-level cultural and social openness. Clearing out extreme comments helps create a friendlier and more inclusive environment for communication, attracting more international cooperation and exchange. The process of globalization is unstoppable, and the cooperation and exchanges between countries are becoming more frequent. 

Against this backdrop, we should adopt an open mindset and an inclusive attitude to actively promote exchanges and cooperation with others. Opening our hearts, we make friends worldwide; embracing all, we achieve great unity. Especially in our people's diplomacy, interactions between the people of different countries should continue to strengthen, which is the essence of building a global community of shared future.

Peace is the lighthouse, reason is the beacon; civilization is the bridge, consensus is the path. China consistently maintains a stance of peace and firmly opposes any incitement of violence and provocation of conflict. Extreme comments run counter to China's stance on peace and development. As significant platforms for public opinion, rational and civilized discussions are the cornerstone of a healthy online ecosystem, and this should be the baseline for public discussions.

Compared with real society, cyberspace's anonymity and virtual nature can make some netizens lose their sense of boundaries and responsibility, disregarding laws and undermining social harmony. We need to balance diverse opinions in cyberspace, ensuring that no harmful misinformation is published while allowing everyone to fully enjoy the freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution and laws. Especially in the age of AI, we must avoid a "internet traffic-only" mentality. AI recommendation engines should also consider ethical values. Platforms should enhance their management and technical capabilities in order to foster a healthy and harmonious public opinion environment.

Vibrant public opinion helps drive social vitality, social vitality promotes economic vitality, and economic vitality is closely linked to the vitality of international exchanges. In this era of interconnectedness, everyone is both a transmitter and a receiver of information and must bear corresponding responsibilities, which means more rational thinking, less emotional venting; more inclusiveness, less stubbornness; more tolerance, less confrontation. By collectively fostering a rational online environment, we can contribute to shaping an open and inclusive national image and to uniting the majority of people and countries worldwide.