Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chinese to come down hard on Twitter agit-prop

Bejing – A 22-year-old woman published an on-going serial on the internet and called it a “prostitute's diary.”

After the feature had attracted a quarter million followers, it was learned that the true author is a 31-year-old male who is also a professional editor.

The Politburo of the People's Republic called it one of the many “malignant tumors” that are challenging the status quo. It aims to punish the internet service providers and the corporations that provide the publishing platforms – in this case, Sina Weibo, which closely resembles its western counterpart, Twitter. A representative of the state Internet Information Office soon paid a visit to the offending company following revelations about the true identity of the author of “prostitute's diary.”

Social media sites are used to challenge government authority, to stimulate debate and to cause confusion by stimulating debate and dissension among the population – something the Politburo calls spreading “rumors” and “false news.”

About 200 million people use microblogs to communicate in China.

Violators may be punished by 5 to 10 days in jail and a fine of 500 yuan, which is the equivalent of $80. Service providers have agreed to shut down the accounts of those accused of spreading false rumors for 30 days as a warning.

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