Censorship takes an even tighter grip on the Internet in China as Sina Weibo, China's largest and widest microblogging service, recently introduced new rules and regulations for their users in order to prevent online rumors and other content that are considered as inappropriate by Internet censors.
Sina Weibo is like the popular social networking media, Twitter and it has at least 300 million users. In the new guidelines that are being implemented, users are not allowed to post content that are considered as "untrue", "harms national unity", and "destroys societal stability".
In this new policy, all Weibo users would be given a standard score of 80 points and with every violation they do, a point would be deducted. Once the point would reach zero, the user's account would be terminated. The service would also monitor users that utilize code words, homonyms, or abbreviations in their online message especially if they want to be unnoticed by Internet censors.
The stricter "code of conduct" is now being implemented due to the country's current political situation. China is now preparing for a leadership handover-something that only happens once in a decade. Not everyone is happy with this kind of set-up as shared by one users who wants to remain anonymous.
According to the user, these new rules "gives Sina a firmer basis for expanding a ban on whatever is considered sensitive news. The definition of what counts as sensitive was always loose and it's expanding all the time. Of course, nowadays, they're worried because of all the scandal and rumors before the 18th Congress."
Dr. Kerry Brown, the head of the Asia Programme at Chatham House shared that this is a sign of stricter times for China stating "This is a sign of the authorities trying to restrain the Internet in China, but a hardcore group of people will still find ways to get round the restraints."
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