As part of the crackdown on “rumors” in the wake of the Bo Xilai scandal, Sina Weibo announced a move to close individual accounts that it accused of spreading fabricated news. Among those closed is the account of Li Delin, who posted information about a rumored coup in Beijing, and who has since reportedly disappeared. From AFP:
Chinese Internet giant Sina said late Tuesday it had closed down four “weibo” accounts, China’s equivalent to Twitter, including one held by the writer Li Delin, whose postings about military vehicles in Beijing sparked the coup rumours.
A posting by a friend on Wednesday claimed Li had disappeared.
“Recently, some lawbreakers have made use of weibo to without reason fabricate and spread malicious political rumours, producing a bad influence on society,” Sina said in an announcement to its more than 300 million users.
It added the four cases had been handed over to the police for handling “under the law”.
On his Twitter account, Bill Bishop reposted the original statement from Sina:
— Bill Bishop (@niubi) April 24, 2012
[Translation by CDT: Recently, some lawbreakers have used Sina Weibo to fabricate and spread political rumors, creating a negative impact on society. Public security has already dealt with this according to law. Accounts of “Li Delin,” “Yangguang de Yuanshi,” “Guangzhou Wuguancong,” and “Long Yi Tian -945″ have already been closed. Now, Sina Weibo calls on Internet users to consciously comply with the law and regulations, and to not spread or believe rumors.”]