A number of Chinese citizens have put together open access anti-corruption websites after the reformist-minded Beijing News ran a story on India's “I Paid a Bribe” website. The Chinese websites (“I Took a Bribe,” “Yeah, I Took a Bribe,” and “I Bribed”) follow the example of the Indian website, allowing a platform for anonymous submission of user's anecdotes about corruption.
Reports from the China Media Project (CMP), where you can read translations of users' stories, indicate that the sites have become extremely successful over a short period of time, but also raise concerns about these sites being “harmonized” by the government. The Sina Microblogging platform for “I Took a Bribe” has already been disabled, and Baidu, China's number one search engine, no longer shows any results for searches of the website's name. The speed of the government's response seems to indicate a knee-jerk reaction. The original story from Beijing News was run only six days ago, one June 8, barely time at all to assess whether this kind of site could be a boon or a detriment to the often lukewarm efforts of the central government to fight corruption.
The central government is following a clear...More >>