from the not-so-realtime dept
Despite increasing competition around the world, China remains the leader when it comes to finding ways to censor the online world. A few months ago, the site Tech in Asia listed no less than eight ways in which users of Sina Weibo, China's hugely-popular homegrown microblog service, can be penalized for "inappropriate" tweets. Now it seems it has come up with a ninth:
Users of Sina Weibo that mention things somewhat more controversial than cats or food might find their posts being delayed -- by seven whole days. The Twitter-like Sina Weibo is supposed to be a real-time social platform, but that no longer applies to posts that mention 'sensitive' terms such as the names of China's top leaders.
That's a worrying escalation, since it makes tweeting even uncontroversial stuff about contemporary politics, say, pretty pointless: who wants to read what somebody thought a week ago? If the Chinese authorities decided to increase their control of online postings even more, an obvious way would be to encourage all user-generated services to adopt this system. Pity that would pretty much be the death of real-time social media in China.