Chinese site Weibo to ban ‘bad talk’ about Chinese affairs – CNET

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Weibo has succumbed to a request from Chinese authorities for it to stifle “negative talk” about local matters.

The Chinese microblogging site said it “sincerely accepts the criticism” by authorities last week and detailed its course of actions in response to the order in a new statement published Wednesday.

Last week, China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television had told Weibo and two other Chinese services, Acfun and Ifeng, to shut down and remove all content propagating negative discussions on public affairs. It’s the latest in a series of moves by state authorities to tighten control over the internet and the media, including revised regulations that took effect on 1 June. Part of the new rules requires online news outlets to obtain a license from the government in order to run news on the internet and social media platforms.

In the statement, Weibo said it will ban all audio and visual content that flout local regulations prohibiting negative speech. Content from unlicensed broadcasters as well as those running longer than 15 minutes will also be removed.

The company added that it will boost content partnerships with state media outlets to promote mainstream public opinion.

CNET has reached out to Weibo for a comment.

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