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Chinese Regulation/Censorship of Social Media

Lily Kuo, writing for Quartz:

For the past four years, China’s government and its far-reaching bureaucracy have embarked on a campaign to take back China’s weibo microblog scene from the masses, who have been using social media services to expose corrupt officials, circulate news, and air their opinions.

And it’s working. According to a new study by media researchers based in China and the US, the government’s 176,000 microblogs are trying to control much of the discussion online, by offering official interpretations of public events, while contrary views are ruthlessly deleted by Great Firewall censors.

In the latest government maneuver, China released new restrictive regulations today seemingly aimed at Tencent’s popular WeChat chat service, which has also become a de facto town square where current events are discussed. According to the People’s Daily, only the public accounts of media agencies can post or re-post political news on instant messaging apps like WeChat. New users will also have to provide their real names and sign a contract promising they will “obey the law and respect the socialist system.”

We in the U.S. are fortunate that our most popular social media site has a completely transparent and open system for what people see in their news feeds. Wait, what.

Monday, 11 August 2014