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.
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."
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.