"Fauna" at ChinaSMACK has done a valuable public service by hanging out in Chinese forums and translating netizen reaction to Google.cn's relocation to Hong Kong. Read the whole post here. Fauna observes that a lot of comments on the major Chinese web portals have been deleted, leaving up the ones most favorable to the Chinese government and most critical of Google. Keeping one step ahead of the censors - just to capture some of the more nuanced comments before they were deleted proved to be a challenge:
Many Chinese netizen comments have been deleted or hidden and most comments that remain visible clearly support the government or are critical of Google. You can see this in the translated comments from NetEase above.
On KDS, a popular Shanghai BBS discussion forum, I was able to find some comments in support of Google or critical of the government before they were deleted. KDS moderators first deleted posts with many replies before deleting the smaller posts with fewer replies. Many posts were deleted while I was still collecting comments from them.
One of the comments Fauna caught before it disappeared was this one:
"Wumao are rampant, they better secure their overtime pay. What we need is the truth, how are sensitive terms defined? What will not die is whatever TG [The Government] says, that everything that it does not like are sensitive words, keeping the people in the dark. "
The posting includes this cartoon, which doesn't really require translation:
[Translation: "Too f***ing stinky! I'm not f***ing eating with you guys anymore!"]
Will Microsoft's Bing now be content to eat s**t alongside Baidu? Or will they make a serious effort to improve the nutritional value of the Chinese Internet? I asked that question in a column for CNN.com yesterday.
On a related note, China Digital Times has translated orders from the State Council Information Office to news organizations and websites:
All chief editors and managers:
Google has officially announced its withdrawal from the China market. This is a high-impact incident. It has triggered netizens’ discussions which are not limited to a commercial level. Therefore please pay strict attention to the following content requirements during this period:
A. News Section
1. Only use Central Government main media (website) content; do not use content from other sources
2. Reposting must not change title
3. News recommendations should refer to Central government main media websites
4. Do not produce relevant topic pages; do not set discussion sessions; do not conduct related investigative reporting;
5. Online programs with experts and scholars on this matter must apply for permission ahead of time. This type of self-initiated program production is strictly forbidden.
6. Carefully manage the commentary posts under news items.
B. Forums, blogs and other interactive media sections:
1. It is not permitted to hold discussions or investigations on the Google topic
2. Interactive sections do not recommend this topic, do not place this topic and related comments at the top
3. All websites please clean up text, images and sound and videos which attack the Party, State, government agencies, Internet policies with the excuse of this event.
4. All websites please clean up text, images and sound and videos which support Google, dedicate flowers to Google, ask Google to stay, cheer for Google and others have a different tune from government policy
5. On topics related to Google, carefully manage the information in exchanges, comments and other interactive sessions
6. Chief managers in different regions please assign specific manpower to monitor Google-related information; if there is information about mass incidents, please report it in a timely manner.
We ask the Monitoring and Control Group to immediately follow up monitoring and control actions along the above directions; once any problems are discovered, please communicate with respected sessions in a timely manner.