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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Microblog politics (3)

By Wen Ya (Global Times)

09:54, November 30, 2011

Current difficulties

Though Weibo is hailed by government and officials, they have hesitated using the new platform, according to Zhang Zhi'an, an expert in Weibo study at the Sun Yat-sen University School of Communication and Design.

"At the very beginning, the overwhelming power of Weibo was beyond their expectations and worried them," Zhang told the Global Times. "Their use of Weibo was quite passive."

With new experiences in Weibo, their problem transformed into how to use the communication tool, for example, how to meet both the needs of their superiors and the public, and how to conduct internal and external monitoring, Zhang said.

"Opening a Weibo account will add to the workload of existing government staff members. Thus, they need staff, fund and technological support," he said.

Wang Hui has experienced the same problems.

"We must be cautious with our messages while keeping an open-minded attitude in our dialogue with the public, which is the most difficult challenge for us now," she said.

However, she is also discomforted by the other side of Weibo.

"Sometimes I feel uncomfortable when I see some aggressive words on my Weibo. Usually I reply to people calmly and their words eventually become more polite," Wang Hui said.

However, using Weibo is not nearly enough for the government to solve the people's problems, Wang Sixin, a law professor at Communication University of China, told the Global Times.

"More offline work must be done to back up and further online communication," Wang Sixin said. "The government should engage in face-to-face communications more often with citizens to help solve their issues."

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