Sina Threatened with Shutdown for “Lack of Censorship”

Cited for failing to "improve censorship of illegal content"

Censorship is a real problem for the Chinese internet. Apparently, there’s not enough of it.

Chinese web portal Sina, the country’s fourth most-visited website, is being threatened with suspension by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) for its part in “failing to censor illegal content” over the internet.

A report by the CAC said  “Sina has spread illegal information related to rumors, violence and terrorism, pornography, swindling, advocation of heresies (in reference to illegal cults) and has distorted news facts, violated morality and engaged in media hype.”

The move by the administration was prompted by “massive numbers of public complaints about [Sina’s] law violations”. Sina had received the most out of any Chinese web portal with 6,038 public complaints so far this year, with 1,227 complaints taking place over an eight-day period this month.

The word “censorship” may have negative connotations in the West, but is routinely used in the Chinese media.

In “Sina faces suspension over lack of censorship“, the People’s Daily Online reports that the web portal has taken the criticism to heart: “Sina’s leaders promised they will intensify censorship and publish more information with ‘positive energy'”.

If you’re a user of the Chinese internet who has read something that you think neither you nor anyone else should be able to read, there’s something you can do about it. As the CAC pointed out, internet users are welcome to report suspicious material by website, by e-mail, or by telephone.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor