Sina Weibo, China’s vast micro-blogging site with more than 500 million registered users has been feeling the squeeze from Beijing’s purge of what constitutes unruly behaviour on the social media the rules don’t allow.
It decided to conform by passing the restrictions on to its users. Sina Weibo will presumably blacklist them if they misbehave, rather than risk its growing fortunes.
Shortened Form of Sina Weibo Draft Rulebook
- No opposition to constitution; no threat to national integrity, no threat to national security; no harm to national honour
- No inciting of ethnic discrimination / hatred; no undermining customs and traditions; no advocacy of cults / superstitions
- No spreading of rumours that disrupt order and stability; no advocacy of pornography, gambling or violence, or crime
- No disruption of social order by encouraging illegal gatherings, associations, protests, demonstrations or mobs
- Any other content prohibited by law, administrative laws and regulations or national rules of the government of China
How Stakeholders Feel About Sina Weibo, the Rules and Compliance
The Wall Street Journal reports mixed feelings, with many users supporting the idea but a number attacking it. In terms of big names, Angel Investor Cai Wenshing (3.5 million followers) posted “Preserving the good atmosphere on Sina Weibo requires everyone to work hard together,” while former head of Google operations in China Kai-Fu Lee commented with a terse, “Agree, support.”
Are There Real Benefits for Sina Weibo’s Users?
I will stay clear of politics with this one, although the inferences are obvious. Having a set of rules provides order, and less reason for the authorities to arbitrarily take Sina Weibo posts down. One user – no doubt aware the censor uses keywords to find unruly posts – commented hopefully, “Isn’t there a list of sensitive words you can give to everyone so they can consult it before posting?” Nice try, Chicken Nation Surf. Perhaps try tweeting elsewhere other than on Sina Weibo the rules social site.