The likes of Facebook and Twitter are already blocked by the ‘Great Firewall’ and now the Chinese authorities are putting together measures requiring bloggers register their full name.
Micro blogging, known as ‘weibo’, is becoming hugely popular in China with over 350 million people already having accounts.
In December 2011, Chinese cities including Beijing and Shenzhen, authorities began requiring weibo users to register with their real names before they could start blogging.
Now, name verification will rolled out across the whole country and existing users will be to register at a later date.
Wang Chen, the minister in charge of the State Council Information Office, is quoted as saying:
“On the one hand, microblogs can reflect the social situation and public opinion, and broadcast a positive public voice, at the same time, microblogs … can make it easy to disseminate a few irrational voices, negative public opinion and harmful information.”
In other words, the Chinese government doesn’t like the fact that people can share views online that are contrary to the government views! And this legislation will allow the authorities to track (and arrest) anyone who’s saying something they don’t like.
This will undoubtedly stifle any ideas of sharing the Gospel/Christian activities on weibo.
[Image via Martin Boulanger]