China attempts to censor microblog

Featured - May 30th, 2012

China’s best known microblog introduced new terms in the government’s attempt to censor and punish offensive comments by its users after Chinese outcries flooded the social network over the arrest of Communist party’s deputy director for allegedly raping underage girls.

Weibo will control comments from its 300 million users through a reward-and-punishment system. 80 points will be allocated to each user with certain deductions for comments “spreading false news”, “divulging private information” and “launching personal attacks”. Using up points will mean deletion of account. Users who post about “sensitive” issues for more than five times will be blocked for 48hrs.

Civilians recently resorted to social networks to voice out their opinions on issues, particularly concerning political matters. This poses a new challenge to the government as it tries to prevent the political turmoil from spilling to public scrutiny.

Users found a way to curb censors by using code names for sensitive issues.