Weibo deletes US consulate account

Featured - July 13th, 2012

The US consulate’s Weibo account was axed Thursday, raising questions on how the microblogging service’s new policies really work, Wall Street Journal reports.

Sina Corp. initially implemented the “Weibo Credit” policy following government demands to censor posts from users. It announced this week that it would stop deleting accounts and will put in place a 48-hour freeze for accounts that released “sensitive” and “untrue information” or topics that the Communist Party deems sensitive. However, the US diplomatic staff cannot identify a particular post that led to the account’s deletion and motives behind the act remains unclear, according to a spokeswoman.

A Sina spokesman told the Journal that he was unaware of what happened. Sina Weibo also said it has sole discretion whether to delete accounts due to “malignant” behavior such as spam and unauthorized commercial advertising. But it was still unclear where the US consulate falls in to this category.

US embassy spokesperson Nolan Barkhouse told the Journal that they are searching for the motive behind the deletion, saying, “we plan to resume normal operations as soon as possible”.