Comments, rumours and opinions can be quickly spread between internet groups in a way that makes it hard for the government to censor.China's internet 'spin doctors' (Thanks, Paula!)
So instead of just trying to prevent people from having their say, the government is also attempting to change they way they think.
To do this, they use specially trained - and ideologically sound - internet commentators.
They have been dubbed the "50-cent party" because of how much they are reputed to be paid for each positive posting (50 Chinese cents; $0.07; £0.05).
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.