On March 24, 2011, IRI Consulting Group, a research institute affiliated with the Communication University of China, issued an Internet Real time Public Opinion Index (IRI) report. The report revealed that land confiscation and housing demolition, anti-corruption, and the image of the police are the three issues that have drawn the most attention from Chinese Internet users.
The report said, “2008 was the first year for the Internet to touch on political issues; 2009 saw a fast growth in public opinion; 2010 was the year of microblogging in China.” Faced with the fast growth and spread of cyber public opinion, government bodies and officials have started to use microblogs as a tool to deal with the public. Microblogs have grown to be the third most popular Internet opinion source following news and online forums.
Source: Xinhua, March 24, 2011