It is a home to crawlers, virusses, search engines, gamers, spammers, chatters, twitters, bloggers, worms and spiders. If calling it alive goes too far, it's still safe to say that the internet forms a nature of its own. Would the new American president have won the elections if he had ignored its tentacles? How many people would be out of a job if it seized to exist? Internet's garden is blooming like never seen before, yet some people only enjoy gardens without the weeds.
Article by Michael Bristow, published at news.bbc.co.uk.
China is using an increasing number of paid "internet commentators" in a sophisticated attempt to control public opinion. These commentators are used by government departments to scour the internet for bad news - and then negate it. They post comments on websites and forums that spin bad news into good in an attempt to shape public opinion.
Chinese leaders seem aware that the internet - the only public forum where views can be freely expressed - needs close attention. China's Communist Party leaders have long sought to sway public opinion by controlling what the media can report. That policy was extended to the internet, and many websites are blocked by a system sometimes dubbed the "great firewall of China". [...]
A document released by the public security bureau in the city of Jiaozuo in Henan province boasts of the success of this approach. It retells the story of one disgruntled citizen who posted an unfavourable comment about the police on a website after being punished for a traffic offence. One of the bureau's internet commentators reported this posting to the authorities within 10 minutes of it going up. The bureau then began to spin, using more than 120 people to post their own comments that neatly shifted the debate.
"Twenty minutes later, most postings supported the police - in fact many internet users began to condemn the original commentator," said the report.
Now that's powerful fertilizer folks! Time will tell if the gardeners will start spraying in the Next Nature.