Weibo: The Death of the Pseudonym?

Fear of further restrictive internet policy is rising in China’s microblogging community after the publication of an editorial piece in the Beijing Daily.  China Real Time Report posted Catherine Yeung’s translation of the passage that sparked these concerns:

A basic measure to safeguard the integrity of the microblogging service is to establish a real-name system, whereby bloggers are required to show their real identity when they openly publish information or express their opinion. This encourages them to be responsible for themselves as well as for society. It is the only way to eradicate those who are hiding in a dark corner in disguise while they are brewing rumors and “firing illegal guns.”

A post on The Next Web questions the feasibility of enforcing a “real name” policy on the 400 million plus registered weibo bloggers.  The post also contrasts Beijing’s desire for control with the objectives of microblog pioneers, Twitter:

The rumours in China are far removed from the position of the original microblogging platform, Twitter, which was described as “the free speech wing of the free speech party” by its CEO Dick Costolo at yesterday’s Web 2.0 summit.

This Beijing Daily editorial was released in the midst of much talk regarding how to limit the flow of “rumors” on the internet.  See recent CDT coverage of the issuance of a government warning, and other ideas for regulating China’s microbloggers.


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