Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Caixin Reposts Article on "Post Deletion Business" Minus Comments and References to Detained Internet Police Officers

In August 2012 in "Baidu Employees Arrested for Deleting Posts for Cash, Baidu Censors 'Delete Posts'" this blog noted that the state-sponsored Global Times had published an article entitled "Baidu Staff Delete Posts for Cash." That article stated: "According to internal communications from Baidu, an employee, surnamed Lu, was working with professional agents to delete posts."

In February 2013 in "Caixin and Weibos Block Access to Report on Private/Public Cooperation in Internet Censorship" this blog noted that the state-sponsored Caixin Magazine had published an article entitled "The Post Deletion Business" (删帖生意), but that within hours the publicly-available version posted here - http://magazine.caixin.com/2013-02-08/100490897_all.html - had been deleted and visitors to that URL were being re-directed to Caixin's home page.

At some point between February and May of 2013, Caixin restored public access to the full article.

As these screenshots show, however, when it reposted the article Caixin deleted all user comments as well as three sentences from the original version of the article.

Comments deleted:

First deleted sentence:
However, according to information obtained by a Caixin reporter from an internal source at the Yage Times, prior to the current strike hard campaign against illegal Internet public relations, Yage Times had undertaken Baidu blocking keyword business, promoted as: keyword blocking, everything negative can be resolved. This business attracted quite a few enterprises: enterprises fear search engines increasing the influence of negative news more than anything else. In addition, there are always some web sites that can't be handled through public relations, and for those web sites the only effective means is to reduce the negative impact through "key word blocking." According to information disclosed by a Yage Times insider, this business required employing power at levels higher than those web sites, and the costs were very high, and only a small number of companies with special connections could pull it off. The typical price quoted for one job was vary anywhere from 100,000 yuan to millions of yuan, and much of this money was funneled to people with "special connections." Caixin reporters received information from those close to the investigation that, in the current Yage Times case, Internet supervision personnel were taken into custody.

Second deleted sentence:

This was only the beginning. As the investigation into the Yage Times deepened, the list of suspects grew longer and longer. The employees of many web sites were detained or investigated, and there were also police officers from the Beijing Public Security's Internet Supervision Department who were detained

Third deleted sentence:
(Correction: The last sentence of the seventh paragraph contained an incorrect description as originally drafted, and should read: "The employees of many web sites were detained or investigated, and there were also police officers from the Beijing Public Security's Internet Supervision Department who were detained" The online version has already been corrected and apologized.)