Police in China’s capital said Tuesday they will start patrolling the Web using animated beat officers that pop up on a user’s browser and walk, bike or drive across the screen warning them to stay away from illegal Internet content.
Starting Sept. 1, the cartoon alerts will appear every half hour on 13 of China’s top portals, including Sohu and Sina, and by the end of the year will appear on all Web sites registered with Beijing servers, the Beijing Public Security Ministry said in a statement.
…The animated police appeared designed to startle Web surfers and remind them that authorities closely monitor Web activity.
If you are so appalled by what you see on the site that you need police help, not to worry – just click the image of the police officer and you’ll be directed to a police site where you can let them know what the threat is. The police will then swoop in and keep all of us safe.
I thought China was going to focus on cleaning up its image and presenting itself as a real country as the Olympics approaches. These types of unintentionally hilarious stories do little to further their cause.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.