China launched a state-sponsored, Twitter-like service called Red Microblog Wednesday, the first step in a plan for local governments to master new media.
Beyond its superficial characteristics, Twitter users wouldn’t recognize China’s new microblogging service. Its first posts are mostly party-line cheerleading, extolling the virtues of Chairman Mao and tweeting philosophical ideas that would be more at home at a self-help seminar than a Twitter feed.
“Those who go with the flow are forever going up and down in the waves; only those who go against the wind fearing no hardship, can reach the other side fast.”
“I really like the words by Chairman Mao [Zedong] that ‘The world is ours; we should work together.’ “
The nascent service ran into a technical glitch on its first day, as new member registration wasn’t working yet. Given the Chinese government’s close supervision of the online activities of its population, users of this new “Red Twitter” are certain to be tightly monitored. Perhaps the government’s desire for total control has something to do with the difficulty in signing up for the service.