South China Morning Post: Chinese social media firms and streaming platforms promise to back crackdown on celebrity culture by removing content that fuels fan fights

South China Morning Post: Chinese social media firms and streaming platforms promise to back crackdown on celebrity culture by removing content that fuels fan fights. “Chinese social media and streaming platforms have promised to remove content that triggers fights by obsessive fans as part of a broader crackdown on celebrity culture. The China Association of Performing Arts, a semi-official industry body, said on Saturday that social media platforms such as Weibo, Douyin and Xiaohongshu, along with video-streaming platforms Bilibili and Tencent Video, had agreed to remove posts and comments that generated animosity between rival fan groups.”

The Hong Kong Standard: BTS fan group banned on social media after raising 2.3 million yuan to celebrate idol’s birthday

The Hong Kong Standard: BTS fan group banned on social media after raising 2.3 million yuan to celebrate idol’s birthday. “The funding raised was said to be used for a cooperation with Jeju Air to create a customized flight with a fuselage, cabin, and tickets with Park Ji-min’s image. In addition, a full-page advertisement is to be placed in both New York Times and The Times on the day of his birthday on October 13.” 2.3 million yuan is a little over $356,000 USD.

China: Taobao, Weibo fined for illegal child content (BBC)

BBC: China: Taobao, Weibo fined for illegal child content. “China’s internet watchdog has ordered some of the country’s biggest online platforms to remove inappropriate child-related content. Kuaishou, Tencent’s messaging tool QQ, Alibaba’s Taobao and Weibo have been summoned by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). CAC says the platforms must ‘rectify’ and ‘clean up’ all illegal content and has fined them.”

South China Morning Post: Popular science blogs disappear from WeChat, Weibo and Bilibili in Beijing’s latest internet content crackdown

South China Morning Post: Popular science blogs disappear from WeChat, Weibo and Bilibili in Beijing’s latest internet content crackdown. “Two popular science blogs in China were censored across social media platforms WeChat, Weibo and video-streaming site Bilibili, a surprising turn in Beijing’s escalating crackdown on internet content.”

The Sentinel: Computer science team creates coding program to interpret Chinese social media texts

The Sentinel: Computer science team creates coding program to interpret Chinese social media texts. “Kennesaw State Professor of computer science Dr. Dan Lo and his team of students created a program last semester to data mine Chinese social media sites in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China. Lo said the program retrieves and deciphers posts on popular Chinese social media outlets like Weibo and WeChat.”

BBC: The Chinese suicides prevented by AI from afar

BBC: The Chinese suicides prevented by AI from afar. “The Java-based program monitors several ‘tree holes’ on Weibo and analyses the messages posted there. A ‘tree hole’ is the Chinese name for places on the net where people post secrets for others to read. The name is inspired by an Irish tale about a man who confided his secrets to a tree. One example is a post by Zou Fan, a 23-year old Chinese student who wrote a message on Weibo before killing herself, in 2012.”

South China Morning Post: China’s national library to archive 200 billion Weibo posts in project to preserve country’s digital heritage

South China Morning Post: China’s national library to archive 200 billion Weibo posts in project to preserve country’s digital heritage. “The National Library of China will archive over 200 billion public posts on Weibo, the country’s popular Twitter-style microblogging site, as part of an initiative to preserve the digital heritage of the world’s biggest internet population.”

TIME: The Tiananmen Massacre Is One of China’s Most Censored Topics. Here’s a Look at What Gets Banned

TIME: The Tiananmen Massacre Is One of China’s Most Censored Topics. Here’s a Look at What Gets Banned. “More than 1,000 posts related to the Tiananmen Square Massacre that were removed from the Internet by Chinese censors were made public on Monday. The database contains images of 1,256 posts that were deleted from Sina Weibo, a popular micro-blogging site with more than 400 million users, between 2012 and 2018. Researchers at the University of Hong Kong collected the posts as part of a project called Weiboscope, which tracks censorship on several Chinese social media networks.”

BetaNews: Weibo reverses homosexuality policy in China: ‘We’re no longer targeting gay content’

BetaNews: Weibo reverses homosexuality policy in China: ‘We’re no longer targeting gay content’. “Following a huge backlash over the weekend, Weibo — the Chinese equivalent of Twitter — has announced a reversal of a policy that would have seen gay content banned from the platform. Originally announced on Friday, the ‘clean-up’ operation was due to last three months, and covered violence and pornography as well as homosexual content. Now, however, Weibo has felt the pressure of public outcry and backed down saying: ‘We’re no longer targeting gay content’.” Pinky swear I did not plan for these two stories to end up next to each other.

The Malaysian Insight: Feminists to sue China social media giants for deleting group’s account

The Malaysian Insight: Feminists to sue China social media giants for deleting group’s accounts. “FEMINIST activists are preparing to sue China’s biggest social media platforms for deleting their organisation’s accounts, the group’s founder said today. On March 8, International Women’s Day, staffers operating the prolific Feminist Voices account on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform found that it had been deleted.”

Radio Free Asia: China Orders ‘National Security’ Probe Into Top Three Social Media Platforms

Radio Free Asia: China Orders ‘National Security’ Probe Into Top Three Social Media Platforms. “China’s powerful Cyberspace Administration said on Friday it has ordered investigations into several hugely popular social media platforms for hosting content that ‘harmed national security.’ The internet regulator said it had directed its Beijing and Guangdong branches to launch probes into content hosted by Tencent’s WeChat smartphone-based chat app, Sina’s Twitter-like Weibo service and Baidu’s Tieba forum platform.”

Columbia Journalism Review: Social media fills vacuum left by China’s ‘hollowed out’ press

Columbia Journalism Review: Social media fills vacuum left by China’s ‘hollowed out’ press. “China… was recently ranked the fifth-worst country in Reporters without Borders’ annual press freedom index. That’s largely thanks to President Xi Jinping, whose clampdown on free speech has included increased restrictions on domestic media, stepped-up censorship across the board, and draconian punishments for anyone—journalist or civilian—who steps out of line….But for all Xi’s efforts, there’s one variable that could thwart his careful calculations: social media, which, in the vacuum left by China’s decimated press, has created surprising openings for debate, foreign influence, and even citizen reporting.” Excellent article. Please read.