The following guidelines, published by a vocational college in China’s Jiangxi Province, describe the qualifications for and duties of “internet commentators.” These individuals, who are typically Communist Party members and can be either teachers or students at the college, work part-time monitoring the campus computer network, reinforcing propaganda messages and censoring “harmful” content. Although these guidelines are specific to this one college, it is highly likely that other Chinese colleges and universities have similar teams of online commentators.
The Chinese source text is available online at: http://www.jxsfgz.com/xctzb/info/1002/1151.htm
An archived version of the Chinese source text is available online at: https://perma.cc/VW3D-TFVQ
US $1 ≈ 6.5 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB), as of March 2, 2021.
To all grassroots party committees and Party general branches:
In order to thoroughly implement the spirit of the National Conference on Ideological and Political Work at Institutes of Higher Education, firmly seize the reins of online public opinion, provide a good public opinion environment for school-wide reform and development, and further promote the construction of a harmonious campus, we have decided to establish an internet commentator team (网络评论员队伍). Relevant information is provided below.
I. Fully Recognize the Importance and Necessity of the Construction of an Internet Commentator Team
Currently, the internet has become an important channel through which teachers and students throughout the school obtain knowledge and interact with others. It has a wide-ranging and profound impact on the learning, lives, and ideological concepts of teachers and students. However, the uneven quality of information on the internet has made it harder for university students to distinguish between true and false. In particular, some people with ulterior motives use the internet as a tool for incitement and harm. They use online forums, chatrooms, [Sina] Weibo, WeChat, other virtual communities, and other means to propagate all manner of harmful speech, which has a major impact on the stability of schools and society.
Establishing a team of high-quality internet commentators is an important means to occupy the internet front with active and healthy ideology and culture and further purify the campus network environment. It is an important means to build the campus network into a platform for comprehensively serving college students, propagating advanced culture, and promoting the main theme. It is an important measure to further strengthen and improve the ideological and political education of college students, and it is also an important task in the acceleration of the construction of a harmonious campus.