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China Chat Crackdown

beijing cybercafe

Beijing’s recent efforts to tighten control over the Internet have so far included a crackdown on online rumors given partial credit for prompting a mass exodus from microblogging platform Sina Weibo to private messaging services, a subsequent crackdown on Tencent’s instant messaging app WeChat (and month-long renewal), and an ongoing anti-vulgarity drive. Yesterday, China’s State Internet Information Office (SIIO) announced new rules for users of instant messaging platforms. The China Copyright and Media blog has translated the new regulations in full. From Xinhua:

The Chinese government has passed a regulation that will require users of instant messaging services to use real names when registering in an effort to hold users responsible for content.

[…] Targeting China’s 5.8 million public accounts on subscription-based mobile apps such as Tencent’s mobile text and voice messaging service WeChat, the new regulation will take immediate effect.

Registrants of public accounts are obliged to register with real names and reviewed by service providers before being qualified to release information.

“A few people are using the platforms to disseminate information related to terrorism, violence and pornography as well as slander and rumors,” said Jiang Jun, spokesman of the SIIO. “Such behaviors have raised bitter feelings among netizens.” [Source]

Read more at China Digital Times.

 

 

 

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IRS: ‘There Is No Other Plausible Explanation’

SMG-REPORTFor The Washington Post, mirroring punditfromanotherplanet‘s favorite ongoing themeEd Rogers writes: Anyone paying attention to the Internal Revenue Service scandal has been waiting for the next smidgen to drop. Well, two more hit pretty hard this week. At the president’s next encounter with the media, I will scream collusion if no one asks him for his exact definition of a “smidgen,” and if he thinks he has seen a smidgen of corruption yet. At this point, only the most gullible or culpable can continue to claim there is no compelling evidence in this case. Given the delays,lies and stonewalling, there is no viable argument against a special prosecutor.

“This is a smoking gun e-mail in that it makes plain she had a cover-up in mind. There is no other plausible explanation.”

Who knows how many of her colleagues and allies are breathing a sigh of relief upon learning that their e-mails to Lerner were destroyed and their instant messages not recorded? I think Lerner must have a sizable silent cheering section in Washington; people who are rooting for her to hang tough in pleading the Fifth and hoping that she does not go wobbly on them.

[Also see Jazz Shaw‘s commentary – The Lerner Files: “smidgens upon smidgens” of corruption]

I’ll bet her government retirement check is one check that never gets lost in the mail or delayed. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Texting Is Dying Out

This guy probably isn't sending a text message.(ANDREW BURTON/Getty Images)

This guy probably isn’t sending a text message.   (ANDREW BURTON/Getty Images)

  writes:  For the first time in two decades, the number of text messages sent has declined—at least in the U.K.

A Deloitte study shows that SMS (standard messaging service) messages declined by 7 billion last year, to 145 billion. Meanwhile, messages sent by instant-messaging apps have spiked dramatically. Roughly 50 billion IMs were sent in 2012, which grew to exceed 150 billion last year. IMs are expected to total nearly 300 billion this year.

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