Wed, Apr 04, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Chinese microblogs reopen after ban

Staff writer, with CNA

Two major Chinese microblogging sites were filled with comments again yesterday after their comment sections were shut down by authorities for three days as punishment for allegedly spreading vicious rumors.

Chinese netizens swamped the comment sections of Sina’s (新浪) Weibo (微博) and Tencent’s (騰訊) QQ — the Chinese versions of Twitter — with jubilant statements and expressions of concern.

“Hail freedom of speech! Hail Weibo,” a Chinese netizen wrote after the comment section reopened at 8am.

Another netizen said he was relieved that the Weibo comment section had reopened, but was worried that the authorities would tighten their censure of online discussions.

“Who knows whether it will be banned again on some groundless charges,” said the blogger, who signed on as “an emotional Pang Yang Yang” (fat central government).

Others said that such a ban would not stop rumors, but would rather boost their circulation.

Lifting the ban will help “calm the Web and maintain the physical and mental health of bloggers,” a blogger wrote.

Weibo and QQ suspended their comment sections on Saturday, saying they needed to “clean up toxic speech,” after Chinese authorities closed 16 Web sites for allegedly spreading rumors of “military vehicles entering Beijing and something wrong going on in Beijing.”

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