China’s censors delete thousands of messages online — by hand

Censoring continues as hundreds of censors take down posts.
A recent study fully discloses the extent to which censorship spans China.
Full WP Article


Searchable Weibo

China’s most popular search engine Baidu has taken what could be a big leap forward in making search more social.
In an official blog post, the company announced that it would be including posts from the country’s wildly popular microblogging service Sina Weibo in its search posts.
According to the company, “Baidu will now return up-to-date Sina Weibo content that matches keyword searches for breaking news or popular trending topics”.

Full Article Here

A Crack in the Wall

Some Chinese Internet users have this week been able to access blocked websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, relishing the newfound freedom although the reason for the breach in China’s Great Firewall of censorship was a mystery.

China blocks most foreign social networking sites (SNS) out of fear that unfettered access would lead to instability. Chinese SNS firms have filled the void by offering similar products that censor topics the government may find sensitive.
Internet users including students on university campuses reported that they were able to access YouTube, Facebook and Twitter on their mobile phones and desktops in the afternoon and evening on Monday and Tuesday.
It is unclear what caused the crack in China’s Great Firewall, as the blocking of websites and censoring of search results for politically sensitive terms is known, or how widespread it was.
On Wednesday, access to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter was again blocked.
Some users in China pay for a virtual private network (VPN) to bypass the blocking of websites and censoring of searches.
Over the weekend, Chinese users also gained access to Google Inc’s social networking site, Google+ and flooded U.S. President Barack Obama’s page on the site with calls for greater freedom in the world’s most populous country.

Full Article 

Weibo Rumours Continue

Weibo Rumor: Bo Xilai Resigns at Central Party Meeting

A screenshot of Hong Kong’s TVB news program reportedly showing the resignation of Bo Xilai, Chongqing’s party secretary, has gone viral on Sina Weibo, one of China’s biggest microblog platforms.

Bo Xilai resigned on Monday at a meeting attended by members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, according to the screenshot, which was taken from a news program aired on Tuesday.

The news has not officially been confirmed.

Considered a rising star in the Communist Party, Bo has been hit by the leave of Wang Lijun, the Vice Mayor of Chongqing and Bo’s ally.

Wang was detained and sent to Beijing after visiting a U.S. consulate general in Chengdu, a provincial capital not far from Chongqing.

Bo’s resignation is still waiting to be approved, Now TV, another HK media, reported.

Sources cited in the news reports said Bo may leave Chongqing and take up a position as a director of a work committee of the National People’s Congress.


Sina Weibo For The Chinese Only!

Just as Sina Weibo appeared set on the world stage, it is about to pull the red carpet and leave an estimated 8 million overseas users who have taken to its Twitter-like service high and dry. These include international VIPs, such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates, actor Tom Cruise and actress Emma Watson, and tennis player Maria Sharapova.

Come March 16, hundreds of millions of Sina Weibo micro-bloggers will have to register with their real names and Chinese ID numbers.

Full Article

Popularity, Twitter versus Weibo

American-Chinese basketball player Jeremy Lin has shot to stardom in the past few days after an astonishing run of performances for the New York Knicks. This has rocketed the 23-year old’s fan-base on Sina Weibo well past that of his number of Twitter followers, and Lin now has nearly 348,000 microblog fans in China. That dwarfs the 78,000 he has on Twitter.

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Weibo Spreading Rumors

Rumors that Kim Jong-un, the country’s supreme leader, has been assassinated just months after he took power originated on Chinese microblogging service Weibo and have now spread all over Twitter.
Others are reporting that Jong-un, believed to be 28 years old, may be on the run rather than dead, but both reports claim that some kind of coup is taking place.
One person on Weibo wrote (loose translation):

“north korea’s biggest leader kim jung un, this morning in beijing time 2:45 am, had his residence broken into and was assassinated by unidentified people, who were shot dead by his bodyguards in korea’s embassy in beijing, vehicles are rapidly increasing in number, and have surpassed 30 of them, this sort of battle formation hasn’t been seen in over two years. please verify this.”

The entire article can be found here.

Interestingly enough, these rumors have not been taken down yet.