Real-name registration crucial to microblog

Updated: 2011-12-20 20:14


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BEIJING - It is an undeniable fact that Twitter-like microblogging services, or weibo, are developing rapidly in China.

Seven microblogging sites with nearly 600 million accounts have opened in Beijing since the first post appeared on Sina Weibo three years ago. As many as 85 million microblog posts are currently uploaded on Sina Weibo each day.

A microblogging service spreads information instantly and is a very interactive platform, which has facilitated business, social exchanges, education and daily communication.

Rumors, false information and slander can also sometimes circulate in the weibo platform, leaving users open to being misled, cheated or even victimized.

Moreover, irresponsible or sensational remarks, which easily attract the attention of Internet users, can sometimes overshadow sincere and rational statements -- an issue that has amplified the voices calling for better weibo management.

Government agencies in Beijing published new rules last Friday requiring weibo users to provide their true identities when registering for microblog accounts.

According to the rules on Beijing's microblog management, which went into effect Friday, web users need to give their real names to website administrators before being allowed to put up microblog posts. Bloggers are free to choose their screen names, though.

Real-name microblog registration will greatly reduce the spread of irresponsible remarks or harmful information. It should make weibo users feel as though it is their duty to speak responsibly and based on facts, making information in the weibo arena more credible and trustworthy.

Some people have said the new policy could dampen users' enthusiasm to express themselves. But the reality is that the more credible the weibo arena becomes, the more possible it is for sensible users' voices to be heard.

Moreover, an increasing number of government departments and officials have joined the microblogging army. The number of verified accounts of government officials or departments on Sina Weibo has surged to nearly 20,000, according to a report released last week.

It is possible that ensuring the trustworthiness and authenticity of information in the weibo arena will make it easier for microblog users to supervise the government and their opinions will be received more candidly by government and officials.