‘Father’ of China’s Great Firewall Shouted Off Own Microblog

From The Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time Report Blog:

Translations of comments appearing on China Digital Times, a China-focused news blog run by the Berkeley China Internet Project out of the University of California, Berkeley, included insults like “Brother Fang, when are you going to die?’’ and “F— you 404 times,” a reference to the “404 error” message that browsers sometimes display when search results are blocked inside China.

One Sina Weibo user in Beijing who saw some of the comments said they were “incredibly harsh” and “brazen.” “I was actually pretty shocked by the aggressiveness and disrespect of some of the comments I saw,” said the user. This “cannot be good for Sina” or microblogging, the user added. It’s a “big loss of face for Fang and Sina.”

Sina and other websites that contain user-generated content already go to great lengths not to offend Chinese authorities, employing dozens or hundreds of people just to police their own websites. As of Monday evening, Mr. Fang had more than 4,000 followers but his microblog posts, and the comments on them, had been deleted.


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