China’s major micro-blogging platform Sina Weibo, is enhancing self-censorship to ward off false rumors from spreading on the site, as it deals with an explosive growth in the number of users, reports the Reuters.
Sina’s Chief Executive Charles Chao said that the microblogging site had over 200 million registered users by the end of June, and the users were sending out up to 75 million comments and messages every day. Some of the Weibo users were taking advantage of the social networking site’s popularity and were using it to spread unnecessary rumors.
“Because sometimes rumors can spread too quickly, Sina is now establishing more mechanisms to quash rumors through a variety of channels,” Chao told an industry forum in Beijing on Sunday. “There is a lot of false news on Weibo, and there are also many rumors, and this is creating a big challenge for government management and is also a huge challenge for vendors on our platform,” he added.
Like Twitter ,Weibo users mostly indulge in celebrity gossip and other general talk. But, the site is also actively being used for reporting important news and spread information about unrest and disturbances in the country. According to the reports, Beijing is worried about the site’s potential to erode the ruling communist party’s authority and evoke protests.
Last month, Sina suspended the accounts of several microbloggers, that were spreading false news on the site. This announcement provoked online protests from Weibo users.
“Stamping out rumors could demand a firmer regulatory framework. From this perspective, the basic point for protecting what we call healthy order on microblogs lies in sounds laws and regulations and upgrading legal enforcement,” Chao said.