Chinese Government to Require Communist Certification of All Blogs, Social Media Accounts

The Great Firewall cracks down on online anonymous speech

By Rachel Alexander Published on February 4, 2015

In one of the most sweeping grabs of power over the Internet, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s administration has decided to ban all Internet accounts that are not in the name of the real person operating them. The new policy, which goes into effect on March 1, effectively prohibits all anonymous – as well as parody – free speech online, something that enjoys strong constitutional protections in the U.S. The crackdown affects more than one-fifth of the world’s population, located in China.

China already has a very censored Internet, controlled by what is known as the Great Firewall. Political dissent against the government is not tolerated. The ban appears to be directed at shutting down anonymous parody accounts of government officials.

Instant messaging and chat programs will be affected, and microblog operator Weibo Corp, which says it strongly supports the measures, indicates it will increase enforcement efforts. In the past month alone, Weibo has removed 293 accounts with “harmful names,” some of which were political.

Communist government restrictions on the Internet have accelerated since Jinping became president in 2013, so more crackdowns may be in the offing.

Reuters has the full story here. 

 

 

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