Posted by: mulrickillion | October 8, 2011

Public Security Officially Joins the Blogosphere

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Mobile Alerts from the MPS

By Peter Mattis, China Brief, Vol. 11, Iss. 18, Sept 30, 2011 —

On September 27, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) announced the national launch of "police microblogging construction" (gong’an weibo jianshe) as the newest element in its social management toolkit and public security informationization (MPS.gov.cn, September 27; People’s Daily, September 27). To prepare the national launch of police microblogging, the MPS convened a special seminar on September 25 and 26 to help establish the “normalization” of police microblogging with informed research and lessons from a trial period for the MPS program that took place over the last 18 months at sub-national levels. MPS Vice Minister Huang Ming presided over this launch seminar and said the results so far have been very promising (China Police Daily, September 27).

Part transparency, part opinion shaping and part two-way information service, police microblogging aims to achieve a number of objectives. The primary objective is related to improving the relationship between the people and MPS elements at every level. As one article earlier this year put it, police microblogging deals with the people’s right to know what its government is doing (Liberation Daily, February 28). The flip-side of  this government transparency concerning social stability is the government’s right to guide public discussion by countering what it deems rumors and unhelpful conjectures. As state media argued on the day of the launch, the microblogging environment often contains emotional if not irrational information that requires MPS guidance (Legal Daily, September 27; People’s Daily, September 27; China Police Daily, September 27). Microblogging also offers a way to release useful public safety information and respond directly and openly to public inquiries (Legal Daily, September 27).

Police microblogging construction provides yet another example of Beijing leveraging local-level government innovation as a generator and testing ground for new governance ideas. The MPS credited the Foshan Municipal Public Security Bureau in Guangdong Province with taking the first steps in using Chinese microblogging platforms as a way to communicate with the local citizenry. The MPS also highlighted other public security departments and bureaus highlighted for their innovative experiments in using microblogs to disseminate public safety information and move toward service-oriented public security work, including Beijing, Xiamen, Jinan,  Kunming, and Hebei (MPS.gov.cn, September 27; Legal Daily, September 27; China Police Daily, September 27; People’s Daily, September 27; November 29, 2010). . . .

The Jamestown Foundation: Public Security Officially Joins the Blogosphere

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