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Why Is Mark Zuckerberg in a Chinese Police Film Ad? (Video)

Why Is Mark Zuckerberg in a Chinese Police Film Ad? (Video)
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Twitter and Facebook are banned in China; people instead use similar services called Baidu, Tencent and Weibo. So†an appearance — reported in the†website China Smack –†by Facebook CEO Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan in a†commercial for an upcoming documentary about Chinaís police force (and a film presenting the police in what seems to be a positive light) is simply puzzling. A smiling Zuckerberg is shown glancing at two Chinese police personnel and then walking the other way with his wife.†As†Raw Story’s Andrew Jones writes: “The irony of Zuckerbergís two-second appearance in the commercial hasnít been neglected, since Facebook is still banned in China” — and even if Facebook were allowed in China, what kind of rules would Chinese authorities insist that users adhere to?

Weibo has about 300 million users and its parent company, Sina Corp., has just announced a code of conduct that will restrict what can be said in messages, says the BBC. It is a thinly veiled effort to censor what users discuss online; Weibo announced the code after local authorities criticized what they called “unfounded rumors” being posted.

Weibo’s users will now be subjected to a credit-score protocol: All users will start with 80 points. They can gain more by participating in promotions but will lose points if they breach the code. If their score goes below 60 points, a “low credit” warning will appear on their microblog, meaning that their account could be canceled if their point total is zero. “Behaving” for two months means that one’s score can be returned to 80.

The Next Web refers to this†translated version of the rules, which are (as†The Tech in Asia blog notes) based on Chinese law. Members are not allowed to

  • Spread rumours
  • Publish untrue information
  • Attack others with personal insults or libellous comments
  • Oppose the basic principles of China’s constitution
  • Reveal national secrets
  • Threaten China’s honour
  • Promote cults or superstitions
  • Call for illegal protests or mass gatherings

Users are also not allowed to use “oblique expressions or other methods” to get around the rules. For instance, after the former Communist Party’s Chongqing chief, Bo Xilai, was stripped of his Politburo post and his wife, Gu Kailai, was detained on suspicion of being involved in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, China’s netizens used

…the hash-tag “important news” for posts on the issue, and “Wood” instead of “Heywood” when discussing the British businessman whose death Bo Xilai’s wife is being questioned about.

Authorities in China have also been been critical of the microblogs for spreading false rumors such as that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had been assassinated and that a military coup to overthrow Chinese President Hu Jintao had been staged.

Writing as I am from the US, I can only think of how many tweets would be censored if Twitter had such a code.

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Image from a video uploaded by Heow Horn Sur via YouTube

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30 comments

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2:54PM PDT on May 30, 2012

Care2: Your "take action now" haven't been large enough to expand for the last several weeks for me to actually sign them anymore.

8:46PM PDT on May 29, 2012

Marianne C. said, "Dear Lord, what would happen to the internet in this country if people were not allowed to spread rumors, publish untrue information, attack others with personal insults or libelous comments, or promote cults and superstitions? Half the sites on the net would fold, and all the Fox News blogs would vanish. *snort*"

You say that like it's a bad thing. In all seriousness though, to outlaw lies is to authorize brainwashing and complete thought control over a population. Why is that so? Because when a government outlaws "lying", they lay the groundwork for defining what is true. Truth is subjective. When a micro-managing organization takes control of the truth, they limit the scope to their personal reality.

Think of religion. Consider what God thinks of lies. The purpose behind the law was well intentioned, but the potential for rulers to abuse that law is just to great to permit such a law to exist. As such, China: one of the biggest human rights violators in the world.

8:18PM PDT on May 29, 2012

It may be that Zuckerberg and wife just happened to be walking by, and his "smile" was the embarrassed reaction of discovering that he had just walked into a scene being filmed.

Clearly, we don't know what the real story is behind this, so it's irresponsible to jump to conclusions.

11:43AM PDT on May 29, 2012

Just why do you think he went out of his way to get in this pic? He's an idiot that want's attention and this is the only way he knows how to get it. He's a total loser in real life just check it out.

9:25AM PDT on May 29, 2012

What do you know? Two evils joining forces. Figures.

9:14AM PDT on May 29, 2012

noted

8:43AM PDT on May 29, 2012

NOTED

8:43AM PDT on May 29, 2012

NOTED

8:40AM PDT on May 29, 2012

NOTED

8:40AM PDT on May 29, 2012

NOTED

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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