Study Times recently published an article on how to improve the handling of crises that spread over the Internet. The article recommended that China should develop an Internet security and information control mechanism, strengthen its monitoring and emergency response capability for such crisis, develop new technologies, improve communication between the government and the people, and educate the media and the people about how to be cautious. The article suggested that the government initiate efforts in the following areas:
1. Strategy and institutional structure: The government should include Internet crisis management as part of its national security strategy and develop a proper institutional structure and laws on Internet information management. Also the government should clarify the structural relationship between the National Security Commission, the Central Internet Security and Information Leading Group, and local governments.
2. Early detection of and emergency response to Internet crises: The government can establish Internet information collection teams to monitor news discussion groups, forums, and search engines’ search results; it can also collect information on the hot issues and events as well as on people’s opinions on these issues and events.
3. Internet technology: The government should put the R&D of Internet technology in a core position and strive for China’s own innovations of core Internet technology.
4. Crisis management: The easiest way is for the government to tell the truth, so as to gain people’s trust and weaken the impact of negative opinions.
5. Education: The government should educate media professionals on professional ethics and professional “discipline.” It also needs to educate the general public about Internet crisis – to train citizens on how to tell, criticize, and evaluate information on the Internet. It can do this through the use of television, newspapers, the Internet, school, and special education programs.
Source: Study Times, March 24, 2014