Sina Weibo punishes popular account, hundreds of others for 'harmful information'

Updated 2018-05-16 10:17:04

Sina Weibo punished 1,532 accounts on Tuesday, including a popular political critic account for "publishing harmful information about current affairs."

Liushen Leilei, who boasts of 120,000 followers on Sina Weibo, was banned from publishing or commenting on Weibo.

To avoid controversy, Liushen Leilei, who formerly worked for China's Xinhua News Agency, used characters and stories from martial arts novels to allude to news events he was commenting on.

His articles were occasionally deleted.

Responding to Sina Weibo's ban, Liushen Leilei said on the platform that he is confused. "First of all, I did not publish anything recently, so (they banned me) because I am handsome?"

Sina Weibo punished 1,532 accounts on Tuesday. They are banned from commenting and publishing, or restricted from accepting visits, or will be permanently closed. They were punished because "they were publishing harmful information on current affairs."

Among them, 50 accounts, such as Liushen Leilei, Luqiyuan and Tudou Gongshe, have many followers.

"These popular accounts should be tightly regulated because they are able to guide public opinion. Illegal, politically incorrect content published by them will harm social stability and worsen the internet environment," Wang Sixin, a professor specializing in media law and regulations at the Communication University of China, told the Global Times.

Sina Weibo has also closed 6,347 accounts that involve pornography, and deleted 1.27 million posts on such topics.

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