By Bridget O’Donnell
Weibo users post cartoons on the site to protest a temporary commenting ban
Following coup rumors a few weeks ago, popular social networking sites Weibo and QQ enforced a 72-hour ban on comments Saturday morning.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the companies wouldn’t say whether the government was behind the ban, but the State Internet Information Office said on Friday that the sites were “criticized and punished accordingly” and had made plans to “strengthen the management.”
In addition, 16 sites were closed and six people arrested for “fabricating or disseminating online rumors.”
“Sometimes a penguin’s scarf is not a fashion accessory”
Reaction among Weibo users has been negative. Since Weibo only shut down commenting, some creative folks have been posting humorous cartoons poking fun at the ban that have gone on to be reshared by thousands of incensed users.
Even pop singer Faye Wong remarked on the ban — though she only discovered it when no one seemed to be commenting on a post of hers for a whole thirteen minutes. “What’s going on? Am I ‘sensitive’ all of a sudden?” she asked.
The ban is expected to be lifted Tuesday morning.
- Weibo Comments Suspended in Coup Rumour Aftermath (Updated) — China Digital Times
- And the reaction becomes the story — Rectified.name
- Netizens React to Government Crackdown on “Rumor-Spreading” Sites — Tea Leaf Nation
- China puts a gag on social media and makes arrest for coup rumors — Ministry of Tofu