Authoritarianism in China: Sina Weibo has one month left

Deadline Set for Real Name Microblogs
Chinese officials have set a firm deadline for real name registration on microblogs based in Beijing, saying users must verify their IDs by March 16.
The deadline finalizes a policy that has drawn both criticism and praise across China, with some concerned over the threat it presents to free speech and information safety, and others saying it will restrict rumors and fraud.
5 million out of 320 million have registered. I'm sure it will go down to the wire, and then we'll see how serious they are about the policy.

The latest Weibo (a division of SINA) generated controversy was caused when a user described his encounter with crooked shopkeepers in Sanya, Hainan. In this case, a restaurant (which has a deal with cab drivers) was charging US$1000 for meals and if you didn't want to pay, "security" came to change your mind. The user said he also witnessed another customer inquire about the price of a fish, only to see the owner immediately kill it and tell him it cost more than US$100 per pound. The restaurant had a comical defense when reporters showed up: we keep records of all our bills, none are than high, and we don't have any fish that large. In any event, the Sanya government was very angry as more people started telling their stories of being ripped off. They said whoever is saying these things on Weibo, should stand up and identify themselves. This was criticized by netizens as an attempt to silence whistle blowers. One month from now, the Sanya government will get its wish.

No comments:

Post a Comment