China's voiceless can speak out through internet: Daily
The internet is worth embracing to help tackle corruption and take on abusive officials, said a Chinese daily, citing the sacking of a party official whose sex tape was posted online.
It observed that the internet has become "a popular platform where the otherwise voiceless can speak out".
An editorial Tuesday in China Daily said: "Once again we've witnessed the internet's prowess as the people's tool against abusive officials."
It said there was a mere 63 hour interval between the appearance of a micro blog with a video link and corresponding still images showing Lei Zhengfu having sex with a teenage mistress to his dismissal from his position as a district party chief in Chongqing.
Authorities then launched a probe, confirmed the authenticity of the images and that Lei was the man in the video; then they announced his dismissal.
"We have seen this before. In September, micro blog posts showing Shaanxi official Yang Dacai wearing multiple luxury watches led to a corruption probe and his downfall. In October, a blog revealed Guangdong official Cai Bin had dozens of homes, which resulted in a probe."
The daily was "impressed by the efficiency the authorities have displayed in their response, particularly in Lei's case. That is exactly what people want to see in the real-life struggle against corruption".
"Thanks to its democratic nature and incomparable efficiency and effectiveness in disseminating information, the internet has become a popular platform where the otherwise voiceless can speak out," it added.
The editorial noted that rumours about Lei's philandering and corruption have been around for years locally, but a probe had not been launched until the sex video was posted online, "which is fresh evidence of the web's efficacy in prompting action".
"For its proven role in exposing corruption alone, the internet is worth being embraced by the country's corruption busters as a close ally. We have seen plenty of examples where online postings have pre-empted official discipline watchdogs and law-enforcement departments. The internet has become a reliable last resort when people's complaints about abuse are ignored," it added.