Saturday, 23 July 2011

Global Times readers respond to the bombing and shootings in Norway

"A country which is afraid of China's chaos [i.e., accuses China of being chaotic]! This person [the gunman] is excellent! Must give him a Nobel Prize!"

"the result of spamming people with peace prizes!"

"The relevant government departments should reflect deeply [apparently a reference to the Norwegian government's responsibility]"

"Awarded the Nobel Prize to the wrong person and received heaven's punishment!"

"I strongly condemn all terrorism! At the same time, I call on the Norwegian government and people not to execute Anders [the man accused of being the gunman]!! Otherwise they will violate human rights!!!"

"NATO is the real culprit of this terrorist attack!"

"The US-led western world should reflect deeply on this!"

"哈哈 烤鸽子肉 哈哈"
"Ha Ha!, Roast dove meat! Ha Ha!"

"They were able to give it [i.e., the Nobel Prize] to Obama. They really are mad dogs!"

"Western countries should reflect on their actions. Arrogant people cannot see their own snot hanging out."

And that was just the first ten comments I saw on the Huanqiu website when I opened it that weren't smilies.

Yes, it's the easiest trick in the book. When something terrible happens in a democratic country, just translate the comments about it on the Global Times (a government-owned newspaper famous for its ultra-nationalism), and hey-presto you have an instant post on government-encouraged cyber-nationalism in China, because the comments there will always be overwhelmingly devoted to gloating. Is it fair to do this? I don't know, but the comments by themselves are bad enough and worth translating for that reason.

True, the comments on Huanqiu are not representative of the entire Chinese internet (although if you look at Sina Weibo at the moment you will see more than a few similar comments) and, as certain People's Daily columnists have reminded us, the Chinese internet is not representative of the nation as a whole. However, what matters is that, whilst controls on discussing sensitive subjects like Tibet, Tiananmen, or Taiwan are very strict, discussion which goes in a direction which the government approves of (i.e., hatred of the country where the panel which awards the Nobel prize is hosted) is given free rein.

[UPDATE: as an example of what kind of discussion IS censored, see this excellent post on the high-speed railway accident at China Geeks]


justrecently said...

Well, I'm sure they'll rein in on these comments rather quickly. Censors aren't as worried about a "loss of face" though, as they'd be of anything that may trigger "chaos" to whatever extent, big or small.

Nice collection anyway - and while it is hard to tell to which extent they'd be indicative, this is no small minority. I've even heard otherwise reasonable Australian-born Chinese refer to 9-11 as a "wake-up call", years ago.

In a way, the CCP probably finds comments like those in your collection here quite reassuring. Let's think of them as fenqings. But do you remember our discussion on the Peking Duck? You suggested that fqs aren't at all fond of the CCP. But they are certainly no friends of Liu Xiaobo either.

Commando Zero said...

Those comments are absolutely shocking and shameful. I actually felt a bit nauseated while reading that.

For a while now I have avoided even glancing at the comment section of news websites (especially Yahoo, which seems to attract more than its fair share of hatemongers), but even there the comments will be mixed, good ones, bad ones, a lot of spam.

This, as you pointed out, is a different thing. It's state sanctioned hate (or at the very least state tolerated hate).

Fenqings/Hongge are just a group of people I have given up on understanding.

FOARP said...

@Pat - Basic fact is, a lot of people in China harbour antipathy toward the US and any country they see as associated with it. Not a majority, that's for sure, but more than 10%? In my estimation, probably. And, within a dictatorial country, it is possible for such a concentrated, but determined, minority to steer policy.

justrecently said...

They may be determined when it comes to certain - usually current - issue, but they are hardly a group with an actual policy. The authorities' problem probably is that theirs can be derailed, when it comes to issues like Japan, the South China Sea, etc. But I'm wondering if groups of Maoists, hard-core Confucianists, etc. aren't at least as big a challenge. They may be less "angry", but actually more determined, in a long-term struggle.

As for the fenqings, there may be lots of different and often personal angers driving them. To express those in a nationalist way is rather safe, because the CCP can't crack down on nationalists without looking "unpatriotic" themselves.

One more thought: some comments clearly identify with the Norwegian perpetrator. They say they do so for political reasons (Nobel Peace Prize, etc.) - but I think all these comments say more about their personalities, than about politics.

justrecently said...

Forgot to mention Falun Gong, in the Maoists, Confucians etc. context...

Anonumbus said...

I wonder how much these comments represent America and what kinda threat they pose to the world.

FOARP said...

Wow, Anonumbus, you would really have a point - if Facebook was a strictly censored government-owned website.

justrecently said...

Three referrals to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the rest to slant-eyed people, or - mostly VA day, which doesn't suggest much awareness of history or soccer respectively.

I suggest that everyone looks at a zoomed version of the link anonumbus provided, and judges for him- or herself if that really matches the comment collection above - even if Facebook were under censorship.

Commando Zero said...

As FOARP stated, while I understand and share Anonumbus' view (those comments are extremely offensive), they are indeed on an unmoderated website. I'd be curious to seen if the comments FOARP read are still up or if they have been taken down.

The problem for me is not so much that there are people with hateful views in China — you can find people like that everywhere — but that these views to a certain extent are a continuation of public policy. Remember the anti-japanese riots a few years back?

FOARP said...

Guys, it's still going on, here's some of the latest:


"The King of Norway should give this man the Nobel Peace Prize!"


"Look, this kind of event can happen in the west. An important reason is they have no death penalty. For this kind of violent attack, if you take Iran's way of punsihment, allowing crimanls to die painfully, see [if you are brave enough to do it?]!!!!I support Iran's method of punishment!!!!!!!!!"


"The injust are doomed to destroy themselves"


"heaven sees what people do"

And so on.

James said...

Dear me, what sad little people. Before I even read this post, I had more than an inkling what to expect. Norway ... Nobel Prize ...

More than the ridiculous comments, these people dancing a jig of glee is what is what makes me despair. As perverse as it is, I can see someone getting enjoyment from something they have felt the tangible effects of - the killer himself, for example.

But what possible pleasure does one get from the suffering of people based on an organisation in that people's country giving someone you don't like an award?

I can't believe these people are glad about these events but have taught themselves/been conditioned to react in a certain way to things like this.

Who knows, perhaps that's the same thing in the end ... ?

Wukailong said...

Truly sad. Given that I'm from a neighboring country, I feel quite strongly about the whole thing but I don't want to get too worked up over it. My bet is that these people went after Sharon Stone after her karma comment (and righteously so) but now they write the same stuff like 善有善报,恶有恶报. Disgusting.

Patrick Cowsill said...

This kind of gloating went on for about a day following 9/11 (due to the Hainan Island Spy Plane Incident). I remember people were actually celebrating. The next day, the Chinese government told them to feel remorse.