Chinese Netizens Boycott Real-Name Registration





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Published on Jan 23, 2012

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Recently, the Chinese Communist State Council Press Office has pushed for real-name registration policy on China's Internet microblogs—or Weibo. But users aren't going to comply so easily to policy they've questioned and haven't received answers about. Here's more.

As Chinese Communist authorities try to enforce real name registration policy for online microblogs, netizens across China are boycotting. Many users are moving their posts to new online homes.

Especially since the July Wenzhou train crash, authorities are realizing the Internet is serving as a medium for free-flow of information and public opinion. The number of microblog users is also drastically increasing, prompting Chinese authorities to seek new ways to monitor them.

Despite negative public opinion, Communist officials are insisting that using real name measures are necessary to stop "increasing negative public opinion." The proposed new policy would require online users to register with their ID numbers.

[Pu Fei, Spokesman, 64tianwang.com Human Rights Center]:
"The real name registration can't prevent impostors unless they can check it one by one, which is impossible."

Many people have questioned how authorities plan to deal with people registering with other people's IDs or how their personal information would be kept secure. Authorities have said they would "take measures," but did not mention any detailed plans.

As some sites began implementing these actions, users are boycotting it and moving to microblogs that don't require real names.

[Zhang Mingg, Scholar]:
"Many Sina netizens, via private message, asked me where I went after I left.
Hereby, I announce that I have formally transferred to Sohu microblog."

Chinese netizens have been finding ways to evade or bypass policies that restrict their freedom of speech.


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