March 16, 2012
In the past three years, microblogs such as Sina’s Weibo (Way-Bwor) have become hugely popular sources of information, to a large extent displacing China’s state-owned television channels and newspapers.
Sina’s Weibo now has more than 250 million users, a near 300 per cent rise in the last year, posting a largely unfettered stream of news, gossip, entertainment, scandal and opinion in real time.
But the phenomenon has unnerved some in the Communist party.
Microblogs are trickier to censor because of the rapid stream of information flowing through them, and there is also the potential for rumours to spread rapidly, and potentially dangerously.
Microblogging, said Wang Chen, a minister at the State Council Information Office, can “have a big influence, cover a wide population, and mobilise people”.
This article was posted: Friday, March 16, 2012 at 4:22 am