Archive for ‘social media’

04/03/2019

Chinese mother detained over bus driver attack after letting son urinate on bus

  • Police say woman told toddler to use a rubbish bin when he needed to go to the toilet then got into argument with driver after he called her ‘uncivilised’
  • Security camera footage shows her bashing on compartment door and grabbing the man’s coat as he is driving

Mother detained over bus driver attack after letting son urinate on bus

4 Mar 2019

The woman is seen in security camera footage grabbing the bus driver’s coat while he is behind the wheel. Photo: Weibo
The woman is seen in security camera footage grabbing the bus driver’s coat while he is behind the wheel. Photo: Weibo

A mother in central China has been detained after she allowed her two-year-old son to urinate in a rubbish bin on a bus then attacked the driver when he told her she was “uncivilised”.

Security camera footage of the incident in Dazhi, Hubei province on Saturday shows the woman supporting the toddler by the bin on the floor of the bus while he urinates in front of the other passengers.

She is then seen rushing up to the driver and arguing with him after he complains about her behaviour, bashing on the compartment door and grabbing the man’s coat as he is driving.

A police officer told news website PearVideo on Sunday that the woman, identified only by her surname Chen, said the boy needed to go to the toilet while they were on the bus so she took him over to the bin.

“The driver saw them and said she was uncivilised, and they got into an argument over it,” the officer said. “Chen became agitated – she hit the driver’s compartment door and reached around to attack him while he was driving.”

The driver, who was not identified, is seen in the security footage calmly pulling over and calling the police while the woman is attacking him.

Chen has been placed under criminal detention for posing a threat to public security and Dazhi police are investigating the case, according to the report.

It comes after a series of recent attacks on bus drivers in China, including an accident in October when an angry passenger who missed her stop assaulted the driver, causing the bus to veer off a bridge and crash into the Yangtze River in Chongqing, killing all 15 people on board.
A police investigation found that the 48-year-old woman had been fighting with the driver as he tried to steer the bus when the crash happened.

Reacting to the latest case, some social media users said they understood the mother’s situation, but it has angered others, who say she should have used a diaper or got off the bus at the next stop.

“Anyone might need to use the toilet [on a bus], especially a kid, but parents should take heed of the criticism – she was clearly in the wrong,” one person wrote on Weibo, China’s Twitter.

There have been other cases in recent years of Chinese parents sparking anger for letting their children urinate in public – on the mainland and elsewhere. Last month, photos of a Chinese tourist allowing her son to pee on the floor of the Forbidden City in Beijing triggered a strong reaction on social media, with many people criticising the woman.
Source: SCMP
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28/02/2019

Taiwan game ‘Devotion’ upsets China with Winnie the Pooh reference

Devotion game screengrabImage copyrightRED CANDLE GAMES/DEVOTION
Image captionWhen players interact with the poster (L), the poster (R) appears – with the words “Winnie the Pooh” and “Xi Jinping”

A Taiwanese games company has had its latest release pulled from mainland China, after players noticed subtle references mocking Chinese President Xi Jinping, including comparing him to Winnie the Pooh.

Red Candle Games released Devotion, a first-person horror game set in 1980s Taiwan, on games platform Steam on 19 February.

The game quickly went viral after players spotted so-called “easter eggs” and publicised them. However online discussion has since been censored.

An “easter egg” is a hidden message or joke in a computer game, normally only picked up by some players paying close attention.

Red Candle Games has apologised, saying it will refund offended users.

Taiwan is an island that is for all practical purposes independent, but China sees it as a rebel region and insists that other countries should not have diplomatic relations with it.

Taiwan’s current president has sparred with Beijing over the island’s political future. In January, Xi Jinping said Taiwan “must and will be” reunited with China.

Hidden messages

One of the easter eggs in Devotion is a poster containing the words “Xi Jinping” next to “Winnie the Pooh”, in an ancient style of writing. Winnie the Pooh has been censored on Chinese search engines and social media since 2017, after bloggers began comparing Mr Xi to the children’s story book and film character.

Gamers have also spotted an old newspaper in Devotion that refers to an individual who has received a prison sentence, nicknamed “baozi” or “steamed bun”.

Composite picture of Xi Jinping, Barack Obama and Winnie the Pooh charactersImage copyrightAFP/WEIBO
Image captionThis meme showing Xi Jinping and former US President Barack Obama began circulating in 2013

“Steamed bun” is another sensitive term in China, as social media users have used it to refer to the president and evade government censors.

‘Awfully unprofessional’

Red Candle Games confirmed that Devotion had been removed from Steam China on 23 February, and issued an apology, saying the poster with the Winnie the Pooh reference had made it into the game by accident due to a technical issue.

It said that it was aware some players may have been offended by the images, and said that it was in touch with Steam to ensure that such players could obtain a full refund.

“The whole team of Red Candle Games bears the responsibility of this awfully unprofessional mistake,” a statement on Monday said. “It is not Red Candle’s vision to secretly project extensive ideology, nor is it to attack any person in the real world.

“We sincerely hope that this ends with Red Candle, and please do not take it out on all of our innocent partners.”

Taiwanese Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai has praised the game, saying: “Only in countries with democracy and freedom can creation be free from restrictions.”

Red Candle Games' apologyImage copyrightFACEBOOK
Image captionRed Candle Games apologised and confirmed the game had been removed from Steam China

Chinese online censors, meanwhile, are trying to scrub references to the game and its hidden messages.

Searches for both “Red Candle Games” and “Devotion” in Chinese on Weibo are showing no results.

What’s On Weibo, which tracks content on the site, said that over the weekend posts containing the hashtag #Devotion were racking up hundreds of millions of views.

But on Monday, a search of the hashtag #Devotion showed only four posts, none of which refer to the game.

Posts that mention the game’s title in English, which the censors are often lax in censoring, show that China-based users are receiving messages on Steam saying that the game is “no longer available” to play in their country.

Meanwhile Red Candle’s account on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo service has been suspended, preventing the company from publicising its game in the mainland.

A Weibo user shares a post saying Devotion is no longer available to playImage copyrightSINA WEIBO
Image captionWeibo users shared posts saying they were no longer able to play the game

In Taiwan, where social media is not government-controlled, thousands of social media users are joking about the easter eggs.

Some on Facebook are posting pictures and gifs of Winnie the Pooh, and others are showing printouts of the offending poster.

Gaming in China

The episode has raised questions as to whether Steam will be the latest overseas online platform to be blocked in mainland China.

Technically, Steam has not gained official approval to operate in the country, but it remains accessible. Some 30m people are estimated to use it in China.

The platform allows China-based users to download and play games that have not received official authorisation.

Over the last decade, the government has banned games if their content is considered to be violent, or anti-Beijing. However many recent releases have never made it to China anyway because of a years-long backlog of games that regulators are yet to examine.

The top media regulator has also just announced that it will not be granting any new licences to gaming companies until the backlog is cleared.

The result is that wildly popular games such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite, both of which were released in 2017, remain neither banned, nor authorised in the country.

Source: The BBC

28/02/2019

Social media fake news fans tension between India and Pakistan

MUMBAI (Reuters) – With India and Pakistan standing on the brink of war this week, several false videos, pictures and messages circulated widely on social media, sparking anger and heightening tension in both countries.

The video of an injured pilot from a recent Indian air show and images from a 2005 earthquake have been taken out of context to attempt to mislead tens of millions on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and its messenger service, WhatsApp.

The spurt of fake news comes after New Delhi this week launched an air strike inside Pakistan, the first such move in over more than decades. India says the attack destroyed a militant camp run by the group that claimed responsibility for killing 40 paramilitary troops in Indian Kashmir on Feb 14. Pakistan denied there had been any casualties in the attack.
Tensions between the nuclear-armed nations peaked with both sides claiming they’d shot down each other’s fighter jets on Wednesday, and Pakistan capturing an Indian pilot.
As claims and counter claims poured in from both sides, social media became a hotbed of unverified news, pictures and video clips, according to fact checkers.
Partik Sinha, co-founder of one such fact-checking website, Alt News, said it had received requests to verify news from journalists and people on social media.
“It’s been crazy since Tuesday. There is so much out there that we know is fake, but we’re not able to fact-check all of it,” Sinha said.
A Facebook group that says it supports Amit Shah, the chief of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), posted images on Tuesday of the alleged destruction caused inside Pakistan by the Indian air strike.
Three photos posted on the group page showed debris from a destroyed building and bodies and have been shared hundreds of times.
Alt News said the pictures were from a 2005 earthquake in Kashmir.
India, where roughly 450 million people have smartphones, is already struggling with a huge fake news problem with misinformation having led to mass beatings and mob lynchings.
Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter have begun to take steps to combat the issue, but as India heads toward general elections, due by May, fake news is getting more intensely politicized.
Another message circulated on a WhatsApp group supporting the BJP claimed the Indian jet was not shot down, but crashed due to a technical snag and blamed the opposition Congress party for failing to upgrade the jets during its tenure.
Similarly in Pakistan, a purported video of a second captured Indian pilot was being widely circulated. Fact-checking website Boom noted the clip was from an air show in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru, where two planes crashed on Feb. 19.
“Everyone has a role to play in ensuring misinformation doesn’t spread on the internet and we encourage people who use Twitter not to share information unless they can verify that it’s true,” a spokeswoman for Twitter said.
Source: Reuters
22/02/2019

Pulwama attack: India government must protect Kashmiris – top court

Protests against attacks on Kashmiris in Srinagar on 20 FebruaryImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionProtests have been held in Indian-administered Kashmir over attacks on Kashmiris in other parts of India

India’s top court has ordered the government to protect Kashmiri people from attacks in apparent retaliation for last week’s deadly bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir.

There have been several reports of Kashmiri students and businessmen being harassed or beaten up in recent days.

The Supreme Court has also sought a response from the states where these alleged incidents happened.

The attack has sparked anger and anti-Pakistan protests across India.

The suicide bombing of an Indian security convoy in Pulwama on 14 February was claimed by a Pakistan-based militant group and has led to a war of words between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

But in some cases the anger has been directed against Kashmiri people living in other parts of India. The attack, which killed more than 40 Indian paramilitary police, was the deadliest against Indian forces in Kashmir in decades.

Hundreds of Kashmiri students, traders and businessmen have returned to Kashmir from various Indian cities out of fear that they could face harassment or attack.

Many Indians have expressed sympathy towards the Kashmiri students on social media, with some offering shelter in their own homes.

India has long had a volatile relationship with Muslim-majority Kashmir, where there has been an armed insurgency against Indian rule since the late 1980s.

The region has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan since independence. Both countries claim all of Kashmir but control only parts of it. They have fought two wars and a limited conflict over the territory.

Kashmiri students from Dehradun, Ambala, Banur and Mohali leaving for Kashmir in Mohali, India.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionKashmiri students living in Dehradun and other cities have returned home since the attack

What did the court say?

The court’s decision singled out the federal government as well as governments in 10 states which are home to a sizeable Kashmiri population.

It asked authorities to widely publicise the details of officials who Kashmiris can contact if they face threats or violence.

The order was in response to a petition seeking protection for Kashmiris living across India. Tehseen Poonawala, one of the petitioners, told the BBC that he was moved to act because he was “disturbed” after reading reports of Kashmiris being attacked.

“It’s not about Kashmiris. It’s about human beings. We cannot be a country that responds with mob violence,” he said.

What happened to Kashmiri students?

In the days following the attack, isolated incidents of students from Kashmir being beaten up or evicted from their accommodation in northern Indian states were reported in local media. Kashmiri Muslims were warned to stay vigilant and India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) offered help to those in need, but also warned of false reports.

Twenty Kashmiri girls in the northern city of Dehradun were forced to lock themselves in their hostel after protesters gathered outside to demand their eviction, according to the Times of India.

Two other colleges in the city issued public statements saying they would not admit Kashmiri students in the next academic year.

“We did so to provide protection to the [Kashmiri] students,” the college principal, Aslam Siddidqu, told the BBC, adding that he had faced pressure from right-wing groups.

Federal education minister Prakash Javadekar has denied that “incidents” have taken place involving Kashmiri students.

But a police official in Dehradun told the BBC that 22 students had been arrested for protesting and demanding that Kashmiri students be expelled from colleges in the city.

Kashmiri traders are seen shouting slogans during the protest. Traders in Lal Chowk and adjoining markets closed their shops as a mark of protest against attacks on Kashmiris elsewhere in India.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionMarkets and businesses were closed to protest against violence

What’s the bigger picture?

The attack has raised tensions between India and Pakistan, which have fought two wars and a limited conflict in the region and are both nuclear powers.

India has accused Pakistani intelligence services of having a hand in the attack, which was claimed by militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Pakistan denies this and has warned that it will retaliate if India takes military action. In his first comments addressing the attack, Prime Minister Imran Khan said India should “stop blaming Pakistan without any proof or evidence” and urged Indian authorities to share any “actionable intelligence”.

India has moved to impose trade restrictions on Pakistan. It has also said it will build dams to reduce the flow of water to Pakistan from three rivers in India. Similar plans were announced in 2016, after a deadly militant attack on an Indian base in Kashmir.

The tensions between the neighbours may also have an impact on cricket, a national obsession in both India and Pakistan. Amid outrage over the attack, there have been calls for India to boycott its much anticipated match against Pakistan at the World Cup in June.

Indian cricket administrators say no decision has yet been made.

Source: The BBC

21/02/2019

Chinese schools under fire after demanding parents pay for tablets

  • Students at one middle school were told they could join an ‘experimental class’ if they paid US$590 for a designated device
  • That class was later scrapped because of a lack of interest, while the principal of the other school clarified that its plan was not compulsory

Chinese schools under fire after demanding parents pay for tablets

21 Feb 2019

Parents took to social media asking why they had to buy a new tablet when they already had one, and questioning why a specific model was needed. Photo: Alamy
Parents took to social media asking why they had to buy a new tablet when they already had one, and questioning why a specific model was needed. Photo: Alamy
Two schools in northern China have come under fire from parents after they were asked to spend thousands of yuan on tablets for their children’s studies, with one forced to cancel its plan for an “experimental class” due to a lack of interest.

At that school, paying for the device would have given a student a place in a top class where they had access to the best resources.

Earlier this week, Yuying School in Yongnian county, Hebei province demanded 3,000 yuan (US$450) from parents of Year Seven students so that tablets could be bought to assist their studies, Red Star News reported on Wednesday.

They were told via a message on social network WeChat from one of the teachers. It said students should bring the money on Thursday – the first day of the new term – because the private school wanted to “teach using tablets to improve classroom efficiency”. Screenshots of the message have been circulating on social media.

Chinese high school students create daring sex education game, earning positive reviews on Steam

But some parents were against the idea, asking on the WeChat group why they had to buy a new tablet when they already had one, and questioning why a specific model was needed.

“We have several tablets at home – can’t my child use one of them at school?” one parent asked.

Another wrote: “I’m just wondering if this tablet is really worth 3,000 yuan.”

The reaction prompted school principal Li Jinxi to clarify on Wednesday that the tablet purchase was not mandatory, and staff had “misunderstood the policy”, according to the report.

“There could be some minor impact for those students who don’t buy the tablet but it won’t be a big deal because we will also continue to use traditional teaching methods,” he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, at Gongyi No 1 Senior High school in Henan province, students were told they could join an “experimental class” if they paid 3,980 yuan for a designated tablet, according to a report on news app Kuaibao on Tuesday.

The school had contacted some of its top students to take part in its “smart class cloud teaching experiment”, the report said.

But the Gongyi education bureau later posted a statement on Weibo, saying only about 70 of the school’s 520 students had signed up for the plan so the school had decided to scrap the idea and would refund the money to parents.

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The school was not the first in China to give students a chance to enter a top class if they bought tablets. In 2015, a school in Longkou, Shandong province told students that those who did not pay for a tablet would end up in “ordinary classes”. After the move caused uproar, the school ended up offering a free three-month trial of the devices, with students then able to choose whether to buy one or not – a decision that would not affect which class they got put in.

Source: SCMP

26/01/2019

Xi stresses integrated media development

CHINA-BEIJING-XI JINPING-INTEGRATED MEDIA DEVELOPMENT (CN)

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, delivers a speech while presiding over a group study session of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau at the People’s Daily in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 25, 2019. Xi stressed efforts to boost integrated media development and amplify mainstream tone in public communication so as to consolidate the common theoretical foundation for all Party members and all the people to unite and work hard. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Friday stressed efforts to boost integrated media development and amplify mainstream tone in public communication so as to consolidate the common theoretical foundation for all Party members and all the people to unite and work hard.

Xi made the remarks at a group study session of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau.

The move will provide strong spiritual strength and public support for the realization of the two centenary goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, Xi said.

Led by Xi, members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee visited the People’s Daily on Friday morning.

During the visit, Xi stressed Party newspapers and periodicals should strengthen the development and innovation of their means of communication.

Efforts should be made to develop websites, microblogs, WeChat, electronic newspaper bulletins, mobile newspapers, internet protocol television and other forms of new media to enable the voice of the Party to directly reach all kinds of user terminals and gain new public opinion fields, he added.

The work of news and public opinion is facing new challenges as profound changes have taken place in the ecology of public opinion, the media landscape and the means of communication, Xi said.

The integrated development of the media should be accelerated to make the penetration, guidance, influence, and credibility of the mainstream media more powerful, said Xi, urging for building of competitive, strongly influential new types of mainstream media.

“Priority should be given to mobile platforms,” he said, calling for the exploration of using artificial intelligence in news gathering, generation, distribution, receiving and feedback.

“We should strengthen the management of new media in accordance with the law to ensure a cleaner cyberspace,” Xi stressed.

Xi also asked the mainstream media to provide more authentic and objective information with clear viewpoints in a timely manner, and called for efforts to improve the online content to safeguard the country’s political, cultural and ideological security.

Party committees and governments at all levels should give greater support to integrated media development in terms of policies, funds and talent, he said.

While stressing the status of the People’s Daily as the CPC Central Committee’s official newspaper, Xi demanded the newspaper improve its work to give full play to its key role in guiding public opinion.

02/10/2014

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to Meet Modi in India – India Real Time – WSJ

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, will visit India next week to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and take part in a summit to find ways to get more people online–and probably signed up for his website.

India has around 200 million Internet users, a tiny fraction of its 1.2 billion population, and just over half of them have Facebook profiles. Mr. Modi is one of India’s most social-media savvy politicians and used Facebook and Twitter TWTR -3.04% heavily during his campaign ahead of elections which took place in April and May. But Internet use in general in India is still a minority affair with only 15% of the population online.

A report by McKinsey published Wednesday ahead of the internet.org summit which begins next Thursday said that between 2012 and 2013, the number of Internet users in India grew 22% compared to 9% growth in China and 7% increase in the U.S. over the same period. Over half (59%) of Internet users in India use mobile phones rather than computers to get online.

But, like Egypt, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, India faces infrastructure challenges to getting more people online, the report said.

Almost half (45%) of the huge rural population has no access to electricity and further up the chain, the country is only in the early stages of deploying 3G networks.

There are some bright spots on the horizon for Internet usage in India however. The report says that India’s huge young population–around one in three people is currently aged under 15–will push the country online.

“We expect this younger age segment to be a significant driver of Internet adoption in developing countries, given their generally greater familiarity with technology and willingness to adopt it,” the report said.

via Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to Meet Modi in India – India Real Time – WSJ.

15/09/2014

Chinese City Launches Special Lane for Cellphone Addicts – China Real Time Report – WSJ

If you’re tired of walking behind someone who’s trudging along as they text, has this Chinese city got the sidewalk for you.

Last week, the city of Chongqing unveiled a lane specially designated for people who want to walk as they use their cellphones. “Cellphones, walk in this lane at your own risk” is printed in the lane in white lettering. The adjoining lane reads “No cellphones.”

On Monday, Weibo users reacted to the news with a mixture of amusement and scorn. “It’s such a lazy design. Shouldn’t the cellphone lane be placed [farther from the road]? It is not practical at all,” wrote one user.

Another dismissed the innovation, writing, “It’s just another imitation of foreign inventions,” the user wrote, referring to a similar experiment launched in Washington, D.C., earlier this year. “Besides, it seems only to be serving as a tourist attraction,” the user wrote of the road, which is located in a Chongqing tourist area called “Foreign Street Park.”

Still another wondered whether the road would make anything safer. “Is the goal here to encourage still more people to use their cellphones while walking?”

via Chinese City Launches Special Lane for Cellphone Addicts – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

06/03/2014

BBC News – India police use WhatsApp to trace missing boy

A missing 11-year-old boy in India has been found after he was spotted by a member of the public who received a WhatsApp alert sent out by police.

Police message on the missing boy

Police in the northern town of Bareilly say they used the instant messaging service to send out the boy’s photo to several mobile phones in the area.

A man travelling on a train, who had received the alert, recognised the boy sitting near him and called the police.

India has more than 900 million mobile users and WhatsApp is hugely popular.

The app, used by more than 400 million people globally every month, was bought by social networking site Facebook recently for $19bn (£12bn).

via BBC News – India police use WhatsApp to trace missing boy.

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18/01/2014

The internet: From Weibo to WeChat | The Economist

WHEN Luo Changping, an investigative journalist, tried on November 22nd to post the latest chapter of his big scoop on WeChat, a popular Chinese mobile messaging service, censors blocked it. But he was able to work round them. In a follow-up message he told his subscribers they could send him the words “Chapter Seventeen”; users who did so automatically received the post on their mobile phones, uncensored.

WeChat, or Weixin in Chinese, is known mostly for private chatting and innocuous photo-sharing among small circles of friends. With more than 270m active users, it has become the star product from Tencent, an internet conglomerate. Some have compared it to WhatsApp, an American messaging service. More quietly, it has become the preferred medium for provocative online discussion—the latest move in China’s cat-and-mouse game of internet expression and censorship.

 

Mr Luo began posting his serialised stories on WeChat in May. They related how he had exposed the alleged corruption of Liu Tienan, a senior economic official. He had tried tweeting them on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblog on which he had accused Mr Liu of corruption months earlier, but internet censors blocked him from doing so: hence his switch to WeChat. Though his initial attempts there were also blocked, the loophole that enabled him to send out the file is typical of WeChat’s more relaxed approach to censorship.

A WeChat account works much less publicly than accounts on microblogs (of which Sina Weibo is the most prominent). Anyone using Sina Weibo can see almost anyone else’s tweets and forward them on, meaning a single tweet can spread very quickly. On WeChat, it is usually only subscribers to a public account who will see a post (though such posts may also be viewed on a separate web page), and if a subscriber forwards a post, only that subscriber’s circle of friends see it. Its non-public accounts are even less open. Information on WeChat spreads at such a slow burn that authorities feel they have more control over it. Also in contrast to microblogs, many types of public account (like Mr Luo’s) can send out only one post to subscribers a day, making them much easier for authorities to monitor.

Mr Luo does not always have problems sending out his stories on WeChat and, since switching to the service, he has posted the equivalent of a blog post every week or two, and built a following of more than 60,000—“higher than the actual subscription figure of many Chinese magazines”, he says. WeChat is now his prime delivery platform for newsy titbits, including sensitive information that would be censored more rigorously on microblogs. (He has not published for Caijing magazine, his former employer, since being transferred in November to a non-reporting position at an affiliated research institute.) Meanwhile, he makes much less use of his Sina Weibo account, even though it has more than four times as many followers: “The ground for public opinion has begun to shift toward WeChat,” he says.

The rise of WeChat is a business phenomenon in its own right (see article). But it is also a measure of how adaptive and resilient China’s political and social discourse has become—almost as adaptive as the censorship regime that seeks to contain it. Recently a number of public intellectuals have lamented the decline of meaningful discussion on weibo. The microblogs were full of user-led activism in 2012 but, starting in 2013, officials have dramatically escalated their efforts to control them. Propaganda outlets have intensified attacks on the spread of rumours online, authorities browbeat online celebrities to be “more responsible” (at least two have been arrested on unrelated charges), and microbloggers can now be jailed for up to three years for tweeting false information that is forwarded 500 times or viewed 5,000 times. President Xi Jinping, in a speech to party leaders in August, said that the internet was the prime battleground in the fight over public opinion, and that officials must seize control of it.

via The internet: From Weibo to WeChat | The Economist.

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