'Our site was hacked; we're looking into it.'
Like many local governments in China, the government of Longhushan in Jiangxi maintains a website that’s intended in part to serve as a way for the government and the people to interact. Although the site is currently closed save the front page and a short message (see image), just recently it featured a section where people could ask questions or make complaints and officials from the government would respond.
All was going well until one official, it seemed, started to go off script.
When a citizen complained about the difficulty of getting a One Child Policy document processed, the official response came through: “Bullshit [it's hard], just bribe me with money and I’ll get it done for you.”
When a citizen complained about “tofu-dregs construction” — a slang term that refers to construction of buildings using shoddy/inferior materials that lead to collapses — the official response was “Tofu dregs are my absolute favorite dish!”
Parents complaining about schools were met with sarcasm. A complaint about the quality of the school food was met with “Go down there and cook for them, then” and a complaint about the classrooms being too loud and chaotic was met with, “If it’s chaotic then it’s chaotic, [if you have a problem with that] just tell your son not to go to school at all.”
Was this the work of some overly-honest official? The government doesn’t think so. Their official site currently says that it was hacked, and government reps told Southern Metropolis Daily that although access to the site was shared among a number of different government departments, the chances of it having been an inside job, so to speak, are “very low.”
The police are investigating, but the phrases have already been embraced by netizens as the latest examples of leirenyu — shocking statements. Most leirenyu attributed to government officials are genuine quotations — China, like anywhere else, has its share of braindead politicians — but these statements seem to be resonating because although they’re almost certainly the work of some kind of prankster, there is a grain of truth to them, too.
In any event, this isn’t exactly the only problem government websites in China face. Earlier this month we ran a piece (also based on a Southern Metropolis Daily article) about how some government sites haven’t even been updated in years.
[Southern Metropolis Daily via Sina Tech]
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