China is stepping up their social media and instant messaging censorship. The communiqué from the Communist party central committee follows the growing boldness among users, who have discussed sensitive topics, highlighted scandals and attacked official abuses and inefficiency. For example, the handling of the recent high-speed rail crash in Wenzhou last summer resulted in an out pouring of fury among microblogs which ended up spilling over to the mainstream media.
China who already has the most sophisticated internet control system in the world is struggling with censors of the information flow on popular microblogs. Senior leaders stressed their priorities. “Strengthen guidance and administration of social internet services and instant communications tools, and regulate the orderly dissemination of information,”
Analysts believe that officials will not shut down social media sites because of a feared backlash due to their popularity. Instead, they are likely to step up pressure on the operations, who have large in-house staff to censor the sensitive material as they see fit.
Microbloggers reacted with predictable disdain. One, using the name Luse Zhuren, wrote: “Good culture will all disappear if opinion keeps being guided.”
Title: China To Step Up Social Media Censorship
Source: The Guardian, 10/26/11
Author: Tania Branigan
Student Researcher : Dane Steffy, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University