New Sina Weibo user rules spark post dele­tion wor­ries among ne­ti­zens

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA -

A new pro­to­col is­sued by Sina Weibo which stip­u­lates that users must ac­quire the plat­form’s ap­proval be­fore al­low­ing third par­ties to use the con­tent they post to the site has trig­gered public con­cerns over the plat­form’s right to use and delete their con­tent.

The so­cial me­dia plat­form is­sued a user’s pro­to­col on Fri­day, the first part of which says that users shall agree to au­tho­rize Sina Weibo as the ex­clu­sive plat­form on which to pub­lish the in­for­ma­tion posted to the site, in­clud­ing words, im­ages, videos and au­dio.

The sec­ond part of the pro­to­col reads that without the plat­form’s writ­ten ap­proval, users are not al­lowed to au­tho­rize any third par­ties to use the users’ con­tent in any way, di­rectly or in­di­rectly.

The pro­to­col im­me­di­ately caused a back­lash among Sina Weibo users, es­pe­cially celebri­ties, who asked why they should sur­ren­der their right to do what­ever they want with con­tent they have gen­er­ated. Many ex­pressed fear that the am­bigu­ous pro­to­col hands Sina Weibo too much con­trol over their con­tent, in­clud­ing the right to delete it at will.

Fac­ing op­po­si­tion, Sina Weibo an­nounced on Satur­day that they have deleted the first part of the pro­to­col, but the ap­proval re­quire­ment re­mains, much to users’ cha­grin. Mean­while, over the week­end, many users de­manded an ex­pla­na­tion from Sina Weibo about why their posts had been deleted and which laws or reg­u­la­tions they have vi­o­lated.

Some celebri­ties also an­nounced that they have de­cided to leave Weibo and will post their work on other plat­forms.

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