China clamps down on microblog media

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Beijing, Dec 16: Firming up its grip over the 300 million strong microblog media which is increasingly becoming assertive, China today (Dec 16) implemented new rules requiring users of Twitter-like microblogging services to provide their true identities while registering accounts.

To start with, the rules will be implemented in capital Beijing. 

According to the rules on Beijing's microblog management, which came into effect today, web users need to give their real names to website administrators before being allowed to put up microblog posts, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Bloggers, however, are free to choose their screen names, a spokesman with the Beijing Internet Information Office said.

As per the new rules, web users need to register using authentic identities when applying for microblog IDs, which will enable them to write, publish, share postings and browse posts. At present, many people use pseudonyms while blogging.

More importantly, the new rules ban individuals and organisations from posting and duplicating illegal content, including information that leaks state secrets, damages national security and interests, and instigates ethnic resentment, discrimination or illegal rallies that disrupt social order.

They also require websites to get approval from Internet information office to operate microblogging services in Beijing. These websites are obligated to ensure the authenticity of their users' identities, and protect the privacy of microbloggers, the report said.

The new rules came days after a top Internet information official called for forceful and effective measures to control online media which is increasingly posing a major challenge to China's well-entrenched official media.

PTI

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