Netizens Chew Out CCTV as Sympathetic Weibo Post Backfires

A sanitation worker sweeps a snow covered street


Recently, a sanitation worker in Zhengzhou, China was beaten and injured after asking a man to stop spitting sunflower seed shells on the ground of the street he was responsible for keeping clean. Following the incident, state-broadcaster CCTV posted a microblog post on social network Weibo describing the working conditions and dangers that sanitation workers face on a daily basis, asking fellow Weibo users to support the workers by forwarding the post. Netizens fed up with the government news channel’s use of words instead of any real measures to help the workers’ situation took to the comments to show their true feelings about CCTV’s response to this incident and many others like it in the past.

From Sina Weibo:

@央视新闻: Today, Are You Willing to Reshare This For Them? Let Us All Say: Thank You For Your Hard Work [泪] — A few days ago, a sanitation worker named Mr. Wei asked a man eating sunflower seeds to not litter the shells on the ground, “Mister, how can you eat sunflower seeds like this?” Who would’ve imaged that the #sanitation worker [being] beaten until his eyeball ruptured#! Recently, many sanitation workers have suffered beatings and verbal abuse, with some having even died from being hit [by cars] while cleaning up litter. [悲伤] To maintain a clean environment for everyone, they rise early and sleep late earning money with their labor! Put yourself in their shoes, don’t litter, and treat them with respect! Those in support, forward this on!

A sanitation worker shovels snow

A sanitation worker picks up cigarette butts


A sanitation worker cleans a sewer



A sanitation worker sweeps a snow covered street


Comments from Sina Weibo:


Don’t fucking stir up sympathy, please just increase their compensation, as that would be the decent thing to do. Seeing CCTV do this every day just makes me want to puke.


CCTV sure is hypocritical. I hope one day, you’ll post a weibo about you actually solving a problem, rather than just spreading fake sentiment. You know what? Every time you post this kind of weibo, I really just want to curse you.


Why don’t you expose the identify of that lowlife who was spitting sunflower seeds on the ground?


Every time it’s promise to not litter and forward [posts like this]. Are there no better methods?! Do you only see a one-sided solution to this problem?! Sanitation workers have miserable working conditions, their salary is low, and in this era of people all being equal, their social position is still low. Fuck, to do the right thing and still be beaten for it! Just imagine how wronged he must feel!! Every time you report on how sanitation workers are doing, we never see how the problems are handled afterward. This isn’t something that just asking us to make a promise can take care of… (reached the character limit)


Whats the use of forwarding this? Tell me? We just forward this post and then nobody will beat sanitation workers? Nobody will litter? Then what use is the law? When will human rights and humanity be protected by the law!


Raise their salaries!!!!!!!! Forwarding this all day is absolutely useless!


I really can’t stand this. Everyday reporting on stuff about poverty stricken households, how social morality has been corrupted and the like, but never actually adopting any measures to do anything about it. What use is being sympathetic or forwarding a post? The country [government] should pay more attention to the well-being of the people.


Forward this? Say thanks for your troubles? We already know sanitation workers get the lowest pay and do the dirtiest work, to the point where sometimes even their lives are in danger. Whether its the government or some other welfare organization, I wholeheartedly hope something real can be done for them. [可怜]


Give them higher salary and make them official staff. But you know what? The city sanitation bureau does have official staff, but all of the sanitation workers are temporary workers. There are so many more workers than there are official staff positions, and the temporary workers don’t get paid nearly as much as the official staff. Even if you allowed the sanitation bureau to create more official staff positions, they would still hire temporary workers. The extra positions will just be taken by people with connections. Only if we completely eliminate the system of using temporary workers by government departments can we get rid of this type of vermin in our country [referring to the official staff who exploit the ready availability of cheap labor to outsource their work].


Not littering depends on the moral character of our citizens, but it’s the government who can most practically guarantee the well-being of sanitation workers! If the government put safeguards in place for them, I believe it would make them feel even more relieved.


Everyday calling on people to forward things, can’t you do something real for the sanitation workers? Their salary is so low and their work is so hard and exhausting. Their work to pay ratio doesn’t correlate. You should spend more time addressing the government department responsible [instead of the general public]


What fucking use is forwarding forwarding forwarding?! First we need to raise the salaries of sanitation workers. Secondly we need to give them better equipment and a better working environment, like how about a place to rest!!! Just sitting here everyday forwarding things is useless! CCTV should expose whichever cities are not doing this! Not just make us forward this!


Expose the sha bi who beat him!


Playing on the sympathies of the people everyday, what do we need the law for?


Their work is dirty and smelly, but it’s actually noble work, and their salary isn’t proportional. The related departments should reflect on this.

If you support the insights our translations can provide, consider becoming a patron to keep our work accessible to the world.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.