Crackdown on Bloggers Is Mounted by China
HONG KONG — These are bad times to be a Big V in China.
Big V, for verified account, is the widely used moniker for the most influential commentators on China’s growing microblog sites — online celebrities whose millions of fans read, discuss and spread their outpouring of news and opinions, plenty of which chastise or ridicule officials. And the Communist Party has turned against them in the most zealous crackdown on the Internet in years.
Worried about its hold on public opinion, the Chinese government has pursued a propaganda and police offensive against what it calls malicious rumor-mongering online. Police forces across the country have announced the detentions of hundreds of microblog users since last month on charges of concocting and spreading false claims, often politically damaging. For weeks, a torrent of commentaries in the state-run news media have warned popular opinion makers on China’s biggest microblog site, Sina’s Weibo service, to watch their words.
One of the most popular microbloggers, Charles Xue, an American investor of Chinese origin who writes under the name Xue Manzi, was arrested in Beijing on Aug. 23, accused of having sex with a prostitute. He has been paraded on television, contrite in jail clothes. Mr. Xue was due to finish his initial detention by Tuesday, and the police could release him or hold him for extended punishment and investigation, according to Chinese news reports.
09/11/world/asia/china-cracks- down-on-online-opinion-makers. html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.