Sina Weibo Turns 2, Rolls Out New Anti-Rumor Measures

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  • on August 26th, 2011

Sina ($Sina) Weibo turns 2 years old this weekend. In just 2 years Sina Weibo has attracted over 200 million registered users, added billions of dollars to Sina’s market capitalization, and changed the way Chinese people, media and the government communicate. It is amazing how much the Sina team has accomplished in just two years.

Today the Weibo team had an internal party at Sina’s Beijing headquarters, and CCSweets, my better half’s cakery (and by far the best cake and cupcake shop in Beijing), gave them a special 2 year birthday cake.















This week Sina also rolled out a new anti-rumor feature. The government is increasingly concerned about the spread of rumors online, and specifically on Weibo. Sina has been under pressure to help quash rumors, as Beijing Party Secretary Liu Qi indicated in his recent visit to Sina HQ.

Today for the first time I received official notifications about false rumors. I had not seen the messages containing the rumors and so it looks like Sina may be sending the notifications to all users. China Media Project also received the notices and wrote the following:

A second notice from Sina Microblog managers this afternoon said a user’s account had been suspended for one month as punishment for spreading a “false” story about how the alleged killer of a 19-year-old girl in Wuhan had been released on bail by the suspect’s well-connected father. The Sina notice cited police in Wuhan as saying the information spread on social media was false. And earlier notice today contradicted “rumors” about the sale of blood for profit by the Red Cross Society of China. These notices, which may represent a new control tactic, are well worth watching.

Rumors aside, Sina Weibo appears to be here to stay. Once upon a time leaders might have said “let them eat cake”. Now perhaps Sina has convinced them to say “Let them have Weibo.”

You can follow me @Bill on Stocktwits@Niubi on Twitter and @Billbishop on Sina Weibo

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