A new type of business in the field of information technology is emerging in China: one that enables clients to remove unflattering or detrimental material about them on the internet. At least, that is the theory and the basis of the sales pitch.
If someone writes something rude, and possibly untrue, about your company on the internet it can cause serious damage. So you want it removed. The cost is not cheap – the price ranges anywhere from about $600 to $15,000 for each item removed. And, mostly, it is not removed.
One Internet advertisement posted by Nanjing Jiulan Technology reads: “The services provided to our customers include: fast removal of negative online information and news; fast removal from Baidu (the most popular Chinese search engine) caches; fast removal of negative posts on major forums.”
Generally, three methods are claimed to be used to deal with negative postings.
First, positive messages about clients are sent over the internet to cover the first few pages of search engine results. Most clients prefer this method, as it not only removes the visibility of negative news, but also sends out positive messages to potential customers. It is easy and it works.
Second is the use of public relations to get connections with website masters to directly delete the offending posts from websites or forums. Whether this can actually be done is dubious.
Third, it is claimed hacking techniques are used to directly remove unwanted content from websites. Insiders of the trade add that the claimed use of hacking techniques is almost impossible to actually execute. The claim is a total nonsense.
The Epoch Times reported some companies post attacks on the internet to damage their competitors’ reputation. Which leads these companies to get help from Internet crisis public relations firms.