Number Of Posts On Chinese Microblog Site Weibo Drops By 70 Percent In Wake of Government Clampdown

from the celebrity-endorsement,-government-propaganda,-corporate-jingle-wasteland dept

As we noted back in November, the Chinese authorities have started clamping down heavily on users of the Weibo microblogging site accused of violating "censorship guidelines." An interesting question is: what effect is this having on the public's use of Weibo? Thanks to The Telegraph newspaper, we now have some idea:

Research commissioned by the Telegraph shows that the number of posts on the hugely successful Twitter-like microblog [Weibo] may have fallen by as much as 70 per cent in the wake of an aggressive campaign by the Communist party to intimidate influential users.

Once an incalculably important public space for news and opinion -- a fast-flowing river of information that censors struggled to contain -- it has arguably now been reduced to a wasteland of celebrity endorsements, government propaganda and corporate jingles.
That probably means that people are now employing other means to pass on information, rumors and comments that would get them into trouble on Weibo. And that, of course, also implies that the Chinese authorities will widen their net to include those other services once they become enough of a threat. And so the cat-and-mouse game will continue, leaving behind it a trail of burned-out Internet services full of those "celebrity endorsements, government propaganda and corporate jingles."

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  1.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 4:53am

    The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. - John Gilmore

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 6:15am

    Makes you wonder what happened to the users they clamped down on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 6:35am

    That's nothing! Here's a Techdirt fanboy threatening to leave this glorious site!

    Link below. -- It's terrifying that my little bits of wit could cause anyone to make such an abject admission of inability to deal with conflict. We is doomed.

    Techdirt fanboys are so feeble they can't stand skipping over a bit of text! -- Are these leaders against the surveillance state? Or just weenies pretending to be pirates?
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140204/07522126085/new-zealand-spy-agency-deleted-evidence-about- its-illegal-spying-kim-dotcom.shtml#c341 (197 of 198)

    02:32:13[c-025-4]

     

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  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 6:38am

    Re: That's nothing! Here's a Techdirt fanboy threatening to leave this glorious site!

    AND PS: the above Techdirt fanboy is actively calling on others to help censor ME right here. So don't say it's off topic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    GiGNiC, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 6:40am

    "Can't stop the signal, Mal."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Arthur Moore (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 6:52am

    Re:

    Funny thing about that quote. The guy who said it was later killed by a government agent, and most of his gear was destroyed.

    Sure, the signal can't be stopped, but the price is paid in blood.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re:

    And then the info which the government agent was trying to keep from getting out, got out, and we're lead to believe radically changed the 'verse as a result.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: That's nothing! Here's a Techdirt fanboy threatening to leave this glorious site!

    Personally Blue I don't wanna censor you , I rather enjoy your comments (sometimes), though, I usually don't agree with most of them regarding copyright. I've learned over the years that having a (self proclaimed) nemesis makes getting ones point across a little more satisfying.

    so have a great day and remember trolling begets trolling.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 7:20am

    All your blog are belong to us.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: That's nothing! Here's a Techdirt fanboy threatening to leave this glorious site!

    NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO BE HEARD!

    Got that? Good.

    Excuse me, I'm enjoying my right to hide spammy comments. *Clicks report button, as usual when OOTB posts a comment*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 8:07am

    and it wont be long before that sort of action kicks off in the USA and the UK! neither of these governments want their dirty deeds talked about or their dirty laundry aired in public. it shows the people exactly what they are up to, which in most instances over most things, is the opposite of what they are saying the people can do!

     

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  12.  
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    Matthew A. Sawtell, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 9:43am

    "harmony" is not Harmony

    For those 'old China hands' in and out of the mainland - this is no big surprise, given the long line of attempts by the powers to be in Beijing to keep the population sated with 'Bread and Circuses'. Yet 'harmony' is never a long term solution to the question of Harmony, is it?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2014 @ 12:11pm

    "Sounds like a good idea. Why haven't we done this yet?" - [redacted]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    krolork (profile), Feb 5th, 2014 @ 12:42pm

    They need a revolution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Clownius, Feb 10th, 2014 @ 5:57am

    Re:

    Could be a problem as they had one already and this is what its become.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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