'Improper' replies from official government WeChat account shock netizens

"If you don't talk, no one will regard you as dumb."

A screenshot of the messages received from the official account.

A teacher in Guichi District, Anhui Province, couldn't believe her eyes when she received "improper" replies from a local government's official WeChat account on May 2, Xinhua news agency reported.

The teacher, surnamed Jiang, sent a query to the account named "The People's Government of Guichi District" around 11pm and soon received a reply which said, "If you don't talk, no one will regard you as dumb."

She thought the reply was so unbelievable that she sent the same message again, only to instantly receive another shocking reply which read, "I seem to hear the sound of mosquitoes buzzing."

Jiang shared the incident online which soon triggered heated debate among Chinese netizens.

The same government account on Weibo commented under a relevant post on May 3 and said that "the problem of our WeChat admin platform system led to the error in these auto replies." They also said they have contacted Jiang and explained the cause to her. 

They added that the system has been restored and that they hoped netizens understand and stop "spreading" the incident.

The department also issued an apology letter on Weibo on May 5 in which they confirmed the incident was true and expressed remorse. 

They said that after an investigation, they ruled out the possibility that the improper sentences were written by people, whether it be their staff or the third party company that was in charge of the operation of the account. Furthermore, they confirmed that the account hadn't been hacked and the system wasn't infected by a virus at the time.

They said the improper sentences were auto replies from the system and that they will learn a lesson from the incident and improve management of the account in the future.

The account, which belongs to the Information Office of Chizhou City's Guichi District, was operated by China Unicom's Chizhou unit.

The person from the third party company, surnamed Dong, who was in charge of the content maintenance of the account, said the information office has asked them to launch a thorough investigation into the matter. 

He said he apologized to the teacher face to face on May 4.


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