Netizens reaction to Weibo comment halt (including those from Sohu Weibo who haven’t got any bans)

Alia | March 31st, 2012 - 10:05 pm

Yes, people are still talking and they will forever be, like an ancient Chinese saying goes “It will cause more harm to stop the free flow of people’s thoughts than to stop that of the rivers (防民之口,甚于防川).”

On March 31, 2012, the comment function on Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, two of China’s biggest and most active Twitter-like services, was banned for the next 72 hours to fight the spread of coup rumors (16 other websites were closed and 6 netizens were arrested for the same reason).

The move not only lets more people be aware of the coup rumor, but also ignites netizens’ anger. Below is a sample of how Chinese netiznes from Sina Weibo, as well as Sohu Weibo, the only one of the 3 Twitter-like services in China that hasn’t received any government punishment, react to the comment ban.

郑插插: “The moscot of Sina Weibo should look like this in days of comment ban”

迪克森DKS: “Left: ‘So they think they can stop rumors by blocking comments?’

Right: “No, they just want people to know who the boss is.’”


强行被注销名字: “Tape over people’s mouths: ‘No one can hear our screams here. Give People a gag.’”

北大新媒体V (13 thousand fans on Weibo): “No comments for all brings weird equality…”

GIF图: “No comments…so…look at my mouth ‘F@ck you, you mother f@cker.’”


Comments from verified Sina Weibo Accounts:

作业本V(2 million fans on Weibo): “Review books and films, censor the internet and publications, control speech and newspapers, maintain public opinion, block comments…All these stupid moves prove only one thing – IT looks more and more like North Korea. If one doesn’t live every day like April Fool’s Day, IT will cut off electricity and the internet and make sure that you act like a fool. In fact, in a certain country, one has to live April Fool’s Day every day.

新周刊V(4 million fans on Weibo): “It is like going back to the era of silent movie.”

传媒老王V (17 thousand fans on weibo): “Now reading Weibo is just like reading newspapers. Short news, quick news. Ha, who feels the same?”

王铮亮V (23 thousand fans on Weibo): “’6 netizens’ who fabricated rumors are able to let them shut everybody up on Weibo. All I can say is that these 6 netiznes are powerful.”

马伯庸V (30 thousand fans on Weibo): “Even comments have their days off. And I still have to work today!.”

五岳散人V(48 thousand fans on Weibo): “Information is able to clear up itself on its own. Where there is truth, rumors cannot live. Where there is no truth, rumors are all that is left for people to believe.”

潘石屹V(9 million fans on Weibo): “To stop rumors, they banned comments but not retweets. They certainly prescribed the wrong medicine for the illness.”

果壳网V(27 thousand fans on Weibo): “I’m the most handsome, most humorous and cutest account on Weibo. I’m the account you love most. Don’t you agree? If not, I dare you to leave a comment.”

veggieg (7 million fans on Weibo): “It is rainy during Tomb Sweeping Day. My soul is lost without comments. If you want to know where are the rumors gone? Someone points to Zhong Guan Cun (China’ Sillicon Valey).”


Comments from ordinary Sina Weibo Accounts:

狐说八卦: “In Han Han’s commentary on revolution in China, he used to say that he supported revolution, that all the government has to do is to cut off the internet and cell phone signals so that angry people who lose access to QQ, cannot play online games or watch movies online will rise against the reign, and that three days without Weibo, hatred will start to emerge. Now half of what Han Han has said already became true. Not sure what will happen.”

崔晓火_司令不变的那个兵: “7 mins ago, I can speak  as usual. Now, all comments are banned. This is the kind of freedom of speech we enjoy in this country.”

兰楚:” So they put comments in therapy-style vacation, too?”

大象LJ: “Rumors were clarified. Comments were banned. Now I have a reason to believe everything that the rumor has said.”

KL秀: “Weibo without comments is not fun at all. Comments are all that matter.”

么么淡粥: “Weibo is where people let some steam out. if someone has fabricated a rumor, let him be responsible. Everybody was forced to registered with their real names already. why brutally shut us all up? So this is how the government is going to manage its people?”

阿健九九: “In history, we has a story where the government was allowed to set fires at will and yet the people weren’t even allowed to light a candle. Now we have a story where the government is allow to bullshit and the people aren’t even allowed to comment. There are rumors because there is not a reliable and transparent way to get truth. The government has lost all its credibility. To stop rumors by shutting people up means there will be more rumors coming out.”

力靓晨calvin: “So stupid…They think they can prevent us from speaking out our minds by blocking comments? No way. We can still retweet and say what we want to say. Now more people will learn about the rumor they tried so hard to cover up.”

李化-服装设计师: “I can retweet with comments blocked. I can send private messages with retweets blocked. The heavier the repression, the stronger the fighting back.”


Comments from Sohu Weibo, the only one of China’s 3 weibo services that hasn’t received any government punishment for spreading coup rumors. 

On Sohu Weibo home page, the service showed its loyalty:

“Hold society’s defense against rumors”

共赢爱研:“ Today, they blocked comments in the name of stopping rumors. Tomorrow they will block retweet in the name of stopping crimes. Then they will block creativity in the name of national security. And then they won’t even bother to find an excuse. They want to close weibo, weibo will be closed. They want to cut off the internet, the internet will be cut off. They want stability, the society will be stable. they want people to be happy, people will have to be happy.”
坐骨神经病: “Comments in Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo were banned, that is why I am here.”
天靓好个秋: “Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo blocked comments for our harmonious society. Is this a April Fool’s joke?”
尹成Enchal: “So Sohu Weibo is too small for the government to ban.”
往事并不如烟2012: “Sina Weibo banned comments. So I am here on Sohu Weibo. This is my first post here. March 31, 2012. “
一介书生不读书: “Earth Hours? So lame. We in China have No Comments 72 Hours.”
成中9: “Sohu Weibo hasn’t received any punishment this time because we aren’t working hard enough to spread ‘rumors’ and our fans aren’t commenting hard enough. Sorry that we let Sohu down. Fans, let’s work harder!”
Annangelbaby: “Sohu Weibo  is the only one left standing, without banning anything. I moved from Sina to here.”
紧握铅笔: ” Comments banned on Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo. Perfect opportunity for Sohu Weibo.”

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6 Responses to “Netizens reaction to Weibo comment halt (including those from Sohu Weibo who haven’t got any bans)”

  1. [...] Netizens reaction to Weibo comment halt (including those from Sohu Weibo who haven’t got any bans) [...]

  2. マメシバ says:


  3. マメシバ says:

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  5. [...] the “punishment” made its impact, not only on netiznes’ sentiments, but also on hard data. Daily page views of Sina Weibo dropped by approximately 0.14 percentage [...]

  6. Someone thinks this story is fantastic…

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