By Tom Bannister
Government officials in Xing’an County, Guangxi have been accused of “burying [their] head in the sand” after it emerged that they had blurred officials online photos in order to ‘protect’ them from netizens. Several of the photos of officals from the Xing’an County Land Resources Bureau are blurred out on their website. An official from the Bureau said that that privacy was important these days and that blurring the photos would help to protect the officials from ‘extortion’.
Protecting online personal information is a big issue in China and the government is taking steps to ‘improve‘ the situation. However as a Beijing News report points out; the photo database is part of the government-wide drive to increase transparency to combat corruption. Hiding the identities of officials is about as anti anti-corruption as you can get. Furthermore, as the paper also points out; exactly the opposite effect to what was originally intended will occur, because intense scrutiny will now be focused on the officials in question. Get ready to learn all about the sex lives of some balding, pudgy Guangxi men….