BEIJING: China is employing two million people to keep tabs on people’s Internet use, according to state media, in a rare glimpse into the secret world of Beijing’s vast online surveillance operation.
Many of the employees are simply performing keyword searches to monitor the tens of millions of messages being posted daily on popular social media and microblogging sites, the Beijing News said.
The exact number of people employed to trawl through the Internet in a bid to prevent social unrest and limit criticism of the ruling Community party has long been the subject of speculation.
The “web police” are employed by the government’s propaganda arm, as well as by commercial sites, the Beijing News said.
It said that despite their large number, the monitors are not always able to prevent comments that are deemed by the government to be undesirable from being published and reposted.
China’s censorship authorities tightly control online content for fear of political or social upheaval.
Authorities in recent years banned the popular social media sites Facebook and Twitter.