Chinese Newspaper: Internet Does Not Reflect Public Opinion


At time of translation, this microblog post had been forwarded/reshared over 40k times with nearly 20k comments on China’s leading microblogging social network, making it one of the day’s hottest topics…

On Sina Weibo:

@头条新闻: People’s Daily: Online Sentiments Do Not Completely Reflect Public Opinion. People’s Daily today carried an editorial on its front page discussing how the Chinese Red Cross has provided disaster relief for the [Sichuan Ya’an] Lushan Earthquake has been denounced by netizens, claiming that the Red Cross system has received over 566 million RMB in donations, making up over 53% of all donations. The editorial says the facts prove that despite the Red Cross suffering from a credibility crisis, it still has a relatively high level of trust, and that there is a huge disparity between internet public opinion and actual public opinion.


Comments on Sina Weibo:


Truly shameless now.




The People’s Daily is even less representative of public opinion.


Do they know what being forced to donate is? What “special Party fees” are?


Let’s see what would happen if companies didn’t force donations!


If we compare, the difference in the public opinion of Xinwen Lianbo would be even larger. Other than the internet, what other methods of expression is there for public opinion? You can’t keep treating reality as fiction and treat fabrications as reality. People must not live in dreams!


Villains in collusion.


The “Fuck The People Daily” once again comes out to QJ the people’s intelligence.


The People’s Daily deceiving itself, what’s the point?


“People’s Daily: Internet Sentiments Do Not Completely Reflect Public Opinion” I don’t agree with this headline. The people online are people who speak the truth, while many of the people in reality are restricted/limited by their environment and unable to speak the truth. With regards to just Red Cross donations, in reality, almost all the employers in the system [government], including schools and companies have been ordered from the top to organize donations to the Red Cross. Now this is what truly does not represent the people’s will/public opinion.


The above microblog post links to the following article on Chinese web portal and news website Sina, which itself had over 27k comments and 110k participants in its comments section at time of translation, making it the second most actively discussed article (after the People’s Daily article about Hong Kong refusing to donate to Sichuan) and first most shared article of the day…

READ  Taiwan Resident Uses Chinese Flag To Protest Home Demolition

On Sina:

People’s Daily: Internet Sentiments Do Not Completely Reflect Public Opinion

[Author:] Chen Shu

People’s Daily (2013 April 30 Page 1)

After the Lushan Earthquake, the Red Cross Society of China immediately started collecting donations for disaster relief and was denounced widely on the internet.

However, according to information made public by the China Foundation Center, as of the 27th, 115 foundations/organizations throughout the country have participated in soliciting donations for Lushan Earthquake disaster relief, collecting a total of 1.049 billion RMB in donations and supplies. Amongst which, the Red Cross Society of China system received over 566 million yuan in donations and supplies, making up over 53% of the total.

This one fact shows that even though the Chinese Red Cross is suffering from a public confidence crisis, it still holds a relatively high level of credibility. [We] hope the Chinese Red Cross will cherish this social trust, and quickly establish a public, transparent, and honest system of operations, increasing its public credibility, and eliminating its negative stigma.

This one fact proves that exists between internet opinion and actual public opinion a huge difference. Therein lies something that deserves all of society’s deep consideration.

Comments on Sina:


Shameless! What they’ve obtained are not donations but the wage deductions from various companies! Do they dare make public the donations list on the internet? Let’s see how their workers respond!


You guys keep thinking taking down Guo Meimei will restore the public’s trust in you guys, but actually you guys are mistaken. Guo Meimei isn’t the key at all, the key is whether you guys can have an accountable system that you can show others and can operate under the sun [transparent]? A system whose internal operations can be understood by everyone?! Do you dare produce one! Do you dare dare bring out your financial accounting to be audited? Are you guys able to accept supervision by the public at any moment! If you can’t, then stop using Guo Meimei or whatever to whine about being innocent.

Justice088[澳大利亚Australian Capital Territory]:

Make public the 1 billion donation list, so everyone can learn and admire them.


Donate to them {two words]: Get lost!


Who wrote this? They’re asking to be cursed at! Get lost!


I donated, and it was because my employer asked that I do so, so did I have a choice? Can this demonstrate that I trust the Red Cross?


I want to tell the People’s Daily, the media only needs to make public the facts and data, and should not so easily make determinations. In the 500 million in donations is my 150 yuan, donated due to an appeal by my company. If it were according to my personal wishes, I would not donate through this channel.


Hehe, hilarious, the people won’t donate to the Red Cross, and the company donations were all forced. Then the companies simply give the money to the Red Cross, so it’s this plus the government giving money to the Red Cross. What more, add in the fact that a lot of people are still unfamiliar with the internet, only able to watch CCTV’s propaganda all day long (there are still a lot of people like this). But don’t be so quick to be happy, Red Cross, time moves forward. Slowly more and more of the people will know of your black heart [corruption]. You will only be worse by the day. This piece of news is news in opposition to the people. Intentionally supporting when the people are all against, this is going against the current.


You actually have the gall to paint Chinese-style donations as high credibility? Those who have experienced their wages being forcibly deducted raise your hands.


This is a gamble. The country throwing money at the Red Cross is to save the Red Cross, seeing if it can be turned around. That’s why [Red Cross Society of China Party Secretary and Executive Vice Chairman] Zhao Baige boasts: I will reform the Black Cross into the Red Cross within 3 years [or resign]. Zhao Baige, you need to know that the country giving you money is not something it will do every day, as only through donations can there be hope of change. However, judging by the current trend, is it possible to reform? You say: It can! I reply to you: You’re lying through your teeth.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • sofaman


    • vincent

      Watch out for the wrath of billy :P

    • mr.wiener

      Prepared to be twatted by a twat with a twat.

    • the ace of books

      An account called “sofaman” calling sofa despite billy? This truly is trolling the troll. Gold star, sir.

    • billy

      What a cunt. You sir are Lord Cunt of Cuntshire, that is how much of a cunt you are – cunt!

      • I’ve been to Cuntshire many times, the local cuntlings are really friendly. Except when dealing with surprise unannounced visits.

        • mr.wiener

          The people in Cuntshire a very friendly..except for a couple of days each month.

          • Where the cunting hell is this cunt of a place, which effing cunt-try does it lie in?

        • billy

          I am not surprised you have been to Cuntshire many times and got on with the locals – it takes one to know one, did Wiener lead the way in case you got lost? Anyway, next time you go – tell the Mayor of Cuntshire – sofaman – that Billy says he is a complete cunt.

          • Cuntston, South Cuntolina native here. Billy, any of us could lead you to cunt, if you let us. There are many roads that lead to it, but first you must decide that you want to experience cunt for the first time.

          • the ace of books

            billy – wait, first sofaman’s a Lord, then he’s a mayor? What, did he get downgraded?

          • mr.wiener

            Billy is chief cuntstable there.

          • billy

            It is a dual role, seeing as he is the biggest cunt there – he is big enough to take on all the important cunt roles.

        • MrT

          I live in upper Cuntsvilles, Cuntshire. Its full of cunt would you beleive!

      • Boris

        Thanks for the inspiration. When I’m the king of England Newcastle will be forced to change its name.

      • Kai

        @mrwiener:disqus @terroir:disqus @Astaroth75:disqus @disqus_MLEaGLoVgf:disqus @disqus_aB9EoWNetT:disqus

        Hey guys, we’re gonna have to ask you guys to calm down with the “cunt” jokes. It’s becoming a problem when it begins flooding the comments section. If you don’t like someone who firsts/sofa’s the comments, just downvote them. Other than obviously @ec680dd39034e0f0ec45c2bcd69a683e:disqus I’m not particularly singling out any of you but am @ing you guys so you’ll know.

        • Germandude

          Well that’s a dickish move I have to say. lol

          • mr.wiener

            I feel all defelated.

          • That’s because you’re a can’t. A completely stupid, stuck up can’t.

            A Monday-to-Friday fudging can’t.

          • Kai

            Why is asking people to avoid flooding the comments with “cunt” a “dickish” move?

          • Germandude

            And they say Germans don’t have humor ;-)

          • Kai

            Wow, I totally failed. I shoud’ve picked that up after mr. weiner’s “defelated” comment but your initial comment totally flew over my head the first time around. Sorry, I took that seriously. My bad.

            Just to be clear, guys, there’s nothing wrong with pun jokes and I know you guys are just having fun. it’s just that we can’t have the top of the comments section regularly flooded with profanity. I think you guys understand.

          • Germandude

            haha, no problem I guess. On a sidenote: His name is Mr. Wiener. Maybe his real name, maybe a hint to his favorite city Wien (=Vienna), or the famous vienna sausage (Wiener Wuerstchen). Who knows?
            Weiner, as you spelled it however is the German word for “crybaby”.
            Sorry, I am just in the mood for being super stingy today. No offense meant. haha

          • Kai

            Ah, yeah, my bad, I often misspell weiner for wiener.

        • billy

          All due respect Kai, what you could do, is delete the ‘sofa’ comments as they are pointless and annoying to many people and then we can go back to discourse involving the news feeds that you all post on here. Wouldn’t that be better? It would take two seconds to delete/not publish the ‘sofa’ comments. Thanks.

          • Kai

            The problem is that they’re not pointless and annoying to many other people, they’ve never been that big of a problem (one or two comments isn’t that disruptive compared to towers of “cunt”), and we’ve always thought they were kind of cute as a mimicry of the Chinese internet, which is what this site is about.

            Apart from that, I understand your personal objection to them, which is indeed shared by many others as well. I’ve read your argument in previous cunt towers and it isn’t unreasonable. However, another problem is how you’ve gone about this. You can’t terrorize the site in order to force the site to moderate as you want. You’re basically saying “I’m gonna flood the site with profanity and harass other commenters until you guys delete these comments I don’t like.” You took something that you felt was a problem and then made it into a bigger problem.

            I think you can see our perspective, right?

          • billy

            Of course I can see your point, I am not asking you to start deleting them because I have waged a ‘terror campaign’ on the site but rather because it is preserving the reason why we all come to this site, to have some intelligent, funny debate on a country we love, hate or love to hate. ‘Sofa’ isn’t cute, it is repetitively boring, pointless and stupid and it has been going on for far too long. You have had a poster on here (sofaman) whose only contribution to the site is to post ‘sofa’, so to call that individual a ‘cunt’ is not only fair but justified. I don’t use the word ‘cunt’ except when someone posts ‘sofa’. So, if you would like me to stop, delete some of the ‘sofa’ comments (you can, you are a mod) and I will stop posting ‘cunt’ is that not fair enough?

          • Kai

            You’re basically saying “I’m gonna flood the site with profanity and harass other commenters until you guys delete these comments I don’t like.”

            So, if you would like me to stop, delete some of the ‘sofa’ comments (you can, you are a mod) and I will stop posting ‘cunt’ is that not fair enough?

          • billy

            No, I am not saying that – it would help if you stop using emotive language and take out of context everything that is going on. Simply put, loads of people have been complaining over the past 2 years at least, but the bare facts are – if you are condoning this moronic behaviour then there is not much I can really do about it. You are going to have to delete the word ‘cunt’ everytime someone posts ‘sofa’ on here but if you want to know why the ‘sofa’ phenomenon is still alive and well, look towards the mods who think it is ‘cute’. Moronic behaviour breeds moronic behaviour (and you can include my calling the sofa queens ‘cunts’ as well as your acceptance of a joke three years past its sell buy date.)

          • BiggJ

            Does it really piss you off that much? just wait like 10 mins and it gets down voted right to the bottom. Do you even reply and post on here other then complaining about sofa and calling who post it a cunt? Then you ask buddy to delete sofa comments….come on man…just’s not a big deal. You know, the more pissed you get the more people will post it just for spite….but you already know that.

          • billy

            It is not so much that it ‘pisses me off’ It doesn’t really, it is just people were moaning about the ‘sofa’ phenomenon and I thought let’s do something about it where something might get done about it. At the end of the day, my day is still good and the sun is shining. If the mods don’t want to do anything about it then there is little I can do about it to be honest. People will post ‘sofa’ if I call them a cunt or not – that, you have to admit – has been a consistency of this site. If the mods think it is ‘cute’ and I and a load of others think it is fucking stupid – well, what can one do?

    • Couch master

      Excellent trolling sir!
      May the sofa always be with you!

  • vincent

    All I have to say about this

    • Alex


  • Rainer

    People’s Daily makes sense given what these sock-puppets are capable of, when busy singing anthem in a choir like this:

    • BiggJ

      What are you trying to say? America is to blame again?? Or the chinese already have something like this in place…but it’s america fault?

      • Rainer

        I have no problem with you finally downgrading your great American Reich to the same level of China.

        • BiggJ

          They have along way to go be on the same level as china. When they start blocking social web sites and government officals names when they do fucked up things, news agencies and god only know how many other web sites for whatever reason.Then maybe it will be like china. We all know that youtube and facebook and porn are the 3 things that will disrupt china’s harmony. I could not even search for” super massive black holes” today,….now science is being blocked too? :)

          • mwanafa

            Haha I like that one “super massive black holes”.

          • the ace of books

            That might be my fault. I was trying to look for picutres of supermassive black holes two days ago, and it alerted the government to my secret plans to spread avian flu into various rivers by dumping in cartloads of dead chickens and parkour enthusiasts. I’m dreadfully sorry, do hope I haven’t inconvenienced inquiring scientific minds.

            (In seriousness: I was really looking up supermassive black holes just a couple days ago — because they’re fucking awesome.)

          • Rick in China

            Dude, you’re missing the point:

            The new porn czar considers super massive black holes a TOTAL porn search term. Interracial BBW whores FTW?

        • Americans have the illusion of freedom. Soon, there might not even be right to bear hugs…I mean arms.

    • x1sfg

      Pretty much any nation with an information warfare capability does that, but that is not what the article is discussing. Red Herring

    • Anon992

      Rainer, thanks for reminding us of how great it is that our free press are able to expose these government ill-doings… unlike China.

      You even referenced a specific example for us using a well reputed media source. Bravo!

      I don’t think you should be too anti-China though. Sometimes the Western media lacks in objectivity too.

      • Rainer

        — “our free press are able to expose these government ill-doings”?

        Amazing that whenever you guys are being hard screwed, you immediately start to sing aloud for the freedom to screw.

        • The Enlightened One

          I sing for the freedom to screw.

          Don’t you?

          • mr.wiener

            I’d protest and firebomb your embassy for the freedom to screw.

        • Anon992

          I was simply pointing out your own goal in referencing the free western press.

          You were trying to point out the hypocrisy of foreign people slamming China for the farcical puppet Chinese media but in your feverish, indignant state you served only to highlight the exact reason why a free press is so important. You therefore simply added to the anti-China media sentiment rather than undermine it.

          • Germandude

            Don’t waste your time talking with Rainer. Freedom of press 2013 as shown in the graphic below. Surely, this is all a western conspiracy…

      • Agree to several levels. If a website exposes the government for its shit; usually it is seen as crazy conspiracies. Another case is a worker at a nuclear plant has discriminating secrets of the FBI and he got blackballed from jobs, the gov. Agents went to his house “looking” for evidence and he ended up committing suicide. If freedom of speech & press really is free, one would like to thunk more black secrets are exposed instead of being blind sided by economic surprises. Source from a known friend of his. But just my ramblings.

      • moody

        They lack objectivity more often than we wish to admit it.

        The French head of the CSA -organism who among other functions appoint the heads of Public Owned French National TV- has been replaced a few month back by a man who was assisting a former socialist president.

        Needless to say that eveything our dear current socialist president is doing is always depicted as being great and noble.
        While anything it’s political opponents are doing is always depicted as being the exact opposite.

        And we will not even talk about what happens between MSNBC and Fox

  • BiggJ


    • linette lee

      to be used in HK or usa for a BMW or LV bag for their children or mistresses. ;)

      • BiggJ

        It was meant to be, I forgot I was reading this story. oh well lol

  • mr.wiener

    Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! I am the great and powerful ……..

    • linette lee

      Yes, the force is strong in you, Obi wan :)

      I like your long hair. It’s hard for men to wear long hair but it’s nice on you.

      • mr.wiener

        Why thank you kindly.

        • Boris

          And it makes you a dead ringer for Vangelis.

    • In my mind since I haven’t seen either movie, James Franco has more screen presence as Oz since he’s decked out as the wayward pimp from “Spring Breakers”.

      I find that pimps are much more convincing since no one listens to them, but instead are mesmerized by their flashing grill.

  • linette lee

    public internet do not reflect public opinion…..hahahahahah…lol.

    • The public can’t be trusted to be entrusted with something as important as individual opinion.

      Except for American Idol.

  • BiggJ

    You chinese better stop spreading lies and rumors on the internet.

    • linette lee

      ooooh.. I am so scared. XD

    • The Enlightened One

      You know this poster would be better if the guy actually looked scary. But instead it looks like he had down syndrome.

  • the ace of books

    Oh, People’s Daily. Spin it. Spin it good.

    Also, I absolutely love the second Sina comment – proves what I’ve been saying from the first. People don’t think there’s no problem, and people do know how to fix it — but it’s getting those fixes in place and enforcing them that’s the really hard part.

  • MonkeyMouth

    ChinaSMACK headline:

    “Comments Do Not Reflect Opinion of Readers”.

    Editorial by Peter Barefoot, Disassociated Press.

    { place laundry here and SPIN SPIN SPIN cycle }

  • Hadoren

    I actually think that this newspaper has a point, not necessarily about the Red Cross but about the fact that the Chinese Internet doesn’t reflect Chinese public opinion.

    The typical user of the Chinese Internet, is young, male, relatively well-educated, and probably lives in a city or a wealthier area. They’re like the elite in a sense, and they’re the group most likely to be fashionably cynical and opposed to the government.

    But I know that when I talk to my relatives the attitude is a lot different. My relatives live in an inland, poorer city. They’re working class, not wealthy. They don’t know how to use the Internet and don’t have computers. My grandparents don’t know how to hold a mouse, but they’re a lot more supportive of the government and of institutions in general. I’d imagine that’s true for a lot of the Chinese public. The Chinese Internet doesn’t reflect the voices of the elderly, the poor, and the farmers – who are the greatest supporters of the Communist Party.

    • Because: porn.

    • ScottLoar

      Well said, one of the very few intelligent comments and explanations posted to date, the rest the usual snark and moan.

    • Sean Cauffiel

      You’re probably not wrong, but we should remember the influence of farmers is not equivalent to (it’s hard to stomach the idea of “well”) educated Chinese. We can hardly expect farmers across China to be donating more than a tiny fraction of these reported donations.

      If challenged, the People’s Daily would certainly point to farmers and other non-internet users as substantiating their claim, but because they have the luxury of rarely being challenged at all, they publish this nonsense knowing it conveys to readers that their educated, well-off peers are the ones donating all this money and pledging their support to government entities.

      Why? Because, honestly, nobody reading this paper gives a damn what farmers and convenience store owners think. They’re a world away.

      If the People’s Daily wants to proclaim “the internet does not reflect the results we might find if a scientific poll were conducted,” well no fuckin’ shit. But what a childish idea it is for a major newspaper to spend valuable space on unless it was meant to combat the prevailing opinion of non-disenfranchised Chinese.

      The People’s Daily is right about one thing though…. public opinion is most meaningfully expressed in yuan, not a head count on the internet boards. But for lack of transparency (who’s fault is that?), this most accurate metric of public opinion is wholly unreliable.

      • slob

        I’ve found that farmers and villagers across the country are the most generous people who are a lot more willing to help those in need that the people who are rolling in the money. Evey time I go to a village or visit a poor rural area, the locals always invite me in for food, free drinks, cigarettes, everything. In the city where the money is, the people are selfish, stingy fucking assholes who only care about themselves and will only help you if they see some way they can benefit from it. The poor would gladly help the disaster victims if they could afford it in my opinion. Look at the news every time a disatser hits – you see men and women in 20,000RMB suits standing in a line to put 100 RMB into a box, smile for the camera, and look like they actually give a shit. Their fucking breakfast probably cost more than that.
        tl:dr Fuck the rich people in China, they’re all garbage.

        • ScottLoar

          It’s been said, regardless of time or place, those who have least give the most.

        • Paulos

          “Fuck the rich people in China, they’re all garbage.”

          Fuck the US and Canadian State Departments, they’re granting citizenship to all this garbage and their spoiled-brat children.

        • Sean Cauffiel

          Oh, I agree with you, poorer people tend to me much nicer. But I don’t think they have money to donate even if they wanted to.

        • maja

          maybe you’re experiencing hospitality, which is culturally perceived as a must towards any host who is out of the ordinary. those donations are a different thing.

          anywaysl… yeah most people with the big money in china know plenty well who they have to donate to, maybe just unsure on the specific amount. end result, they may not be willing to donate without some return,.

      • “public opinion is most meaningfully expressed in yuan, not a head count on the internet boards”

        There is a way to scientifically and accurately measure public opinion.

        It’s called an election.

        • Kershon Friedmann

          it often just measures media opinion

          • …which in China is CCTV, Xinhua and a 7pm news hour on all channels.

            Well played.

    • The opposite might be true then. The more internet savvy (regardless of specific age or gender), the more cognitive dissonance and/or disagreements about the Communist Party…hence why the Chinese government is so paranoid about what people access/search for online.

  • OMG

    Well, it looks like Guo MeiMei and her friends are gonna make a killing again this time…lots of dough, just watch @biggj:disqus these bitches will be rolling hard in their Bentleys on the streets of Vancouver, crashing into store windows. While the good-hearted donors goes back to the hard labors

    • BiggJ

      Yep…way of the world lol

    • James

      too dangerous, if the sedin girls choke for the ice hockey team there will probably be riots & she’ll be beaten or killed, but if the girls actually do something maybe she can go to the beauty shop with them after

  • Jeffrey

    This is true to some degree because for example negative comments about things usually outweight positive comments because angry people are more likely to post online about their anger than content people to post about their “contentness”. Hopefully that made sense. (At least I like to think this when I see comments about how Osama is a hero and such)

    But yeah not in the way that this article said so.

    • Ricky Beijing

      I can totally agree, people will always discuss negativity a lot more than positivity and that’s way more prominent online.

    • Kershon Friedmann


  • Roland Jupiter 8

    Chyneez red kross4lyfe 2005

  • I think that little Red Cross girl ate most of the food the Red Cross tried to send.

  • Jeff

    So about 80% of the donated funds will wind up in someone’s Big Black Car Fund or Send My Kid To The USA Fund. Is this a secret? Save your money and spend it on yourself people.

  • Foreign Devil

    You know when I was in Sichuan I was astounded at the amount of money being spent in new infrastructure. Chengdu had new subway system opening up, and entire ring roads being reconstructed as elevated highways with multiple levels. . with the highest level being a dedicated bus elevated highway My inlaws described how the elevated ring roads are being built in just a year. . and are the current mayors way of winning the publics favor.. Then I took what surely must be the worlds most expensive highway ever built . .just newly opened which goes from Chengdu to Kunming, through a thick chain of sandy mountains.. The entire long highway is made up of elevated roads and tunnels through mountains that are sometimes 7+ KM long. None of the roads where carved into the mountainside. which would be much cheaper than building towering elevated highways over ravines. So yeah. . I’d say Sichuan is receiving billions and billions of dollars.

    • ScottLoar

      And I saw something else along that same stretch of road and elsewhere in Sichuan: The hillsides that had been terraced and tilled for centuries now collapsing, ignored, reverting to wilderness.

      • Foreign Devil

        maybe they are collapsed from earthquake related landslides. . I saw a lot of those .. or the farmers abandoned the fields to work in the cities. . which is happening on a massive scale.

    • Zhegezhege

      It’s called malinvestment.

  • Maxwell Thomas

    I understand when faced with 3rd world poverty & economic insecurity
    money is more of an issue/focus in ones life than those in 1st world
    countries but Chinese are all money money money, purely money…It’s all
    they talk about, think about, it is their God. It is pathetic, sad,
    deeply disturbing. This uniform personality trait, this disgusting
    obsession unique among Chinese alarms me as they[Chinese] will likely
    dominate the world(economically, if not militarily as well) in just a
    few decades

  • The Enlightened One

    I work for the Red Cross and I just bought a brand new Yacht.

    Guess who paid for it?

    You did!

    Signed – Guo Mei mei

    P.S. Suckers!

  • Bell