Mass Work: PSB teams up with Weibo and People’s Daily

On Monday, a year after its establishment, the Weibo channel of Beijing Safe and Well (平安北京), aka “Safe Beijing”, officially registered with Peoples Daily‘s website. Weibo is China’s micro-blogging platform, similar to Twitter (which is banned in China), and Beijing Safe and Well is an initiative from the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (公安局, PSB).

I’m not sure what “registering with People’s Daily website” (落户人民网) means, but it seems to amount to People’s Daily republishing what the PSB posts on Weibo.

The initiative had been a certain public-relations success in establishing work with the masses (在公共关系建设和群众工作上取得了一定成效) as a carrier of information (资讯发布载体), a window of mass work (群众工作窗口), and a bridge for police-public communication (警民沟通桥梁), Beijing Police is quoted by People’s Daily. During its first year, they had posted more than 9,000 messages (more than 7,000 of them on Weibo), more than 2,000 blogposts, more than 200 videos, recorded some 26 million views and 1.5 million fans. There had been “successful handling of six suicide cases live on the internet etc.” (成功处置微博直播自杀等网络突发事件6件), and 170 other issues (or “situations”, 解决网友反映的突出情况).

The PSB are frequently referred to as “police”, but their work apparently goes far beyond handling situations as described by People’s Daily. When Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to eleven years in jail in December 2009, Teng Biao, another dissident, stated that a testimony he had previously made at the Beijing PSB had been used as evidence, even though he hadn’t been heard in court himself, and even though he hadn’t actually mentioned Liu Xiaobo in his testimony.

Allegedly, the PSB are also instrumental in spin-doctoring on the internet once sensitive situations arise locally.

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Related

» “How to speak in the Microblog Age”, CMP, August 2, 2011
Related Blogposts: “Social Management” (社会管理)

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Updates / Related

» 平安北京, Weibo (more frequently updated than on People’s Daily)

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