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China tightens social media controls

27 October, 2011
By Allison Orr

The Communist Party in China has announced plans to increase controls on online social networking and instant messaging.  The announcement was made as part of a list of "cultural development guidelines", to supervise Chinese media in order to crack down on pornography, vulgar information and misinformation.  The directive made clear that people would be punished for using the Internet to spread harmful information.

Microblogging, called weibo in China, had 195 million users in June, more than a threefold increase in six months since the end of 2010.

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