China / Society

Is real-name registration necessary for micro-blogs?

(Beijing Review) Updated: 2014-08-15 14:03

He Bing (Southern Weekend): The real name registration for micro-blogs will not interfere with people's speech freedom. Before Beijing's new regulation comes on, anyone who wants to open a micro-blog account only needs to open a new email account. As a result, you would never even know who is humiliating you on the Internet, unless you adopt investigation means.

The regulation said micro-blog users can use customized usernames when posting comments, which means it will not interfere with people's speech freedom. The biggest merit of the real name registration regulation is that it will encourage people to bravely criticize and put forward suggestions with their real identities. This will undoubtedly help to improve the current connection between the government and the ordinary micro-bloggers.

The question now is how to protect micro-bloggers' personal information, how to prevent micro-blogging service providers and authorities from abusing micro-bloggers' personal information. The real name registration policy is testing micro-blog users and the government as well.

Hu Xijin ( This is by no means what the whole society expect to see that one day, no one dares to speak freely on micro-blogs. If this happens, the negative impact it brings will be worse than the troubles stemming from the current messy micro-blog environment. I don't think the government means to shut people's mouths by adopting the real name registration practice. We've already had many real name online critics. It is not normal that people express opinions by remaining anonymous. It's not real democracy but kind of deformed democracy.

Hu Yihua( The adoption of real name registration will greatly increase the credibility of information on micro-blogs. In such a trustworthy environment, people tend to set up interpersonal connections more easily. Meanwhile, from the legal perspective, it will better protect netizens' rights and interests. Once netizens' right of reputation is offended, they will have some places to turn to.

Luo Zhiyuan ( As a supplement to traditional media, micro-blogs are playing a crucial role in China's public affairs. Concerning the regulation, this is how I feel:

First of all, it's necessary to update legislation on Internet management and supervision based on laws. Micro-blogging operators should also strengthen supervision on their own websites by filtering inappropriate content and screening users who publish false information.

Second, we need to improve netizens' understanding of the impact their words have on other people.

Third, radical remarks on micro-blogs are usually written by disadvantaged groups who feel they have no other choice to have their problems solved and thus feel desperate. As for this issue, it's better for the government to open more channels for people to voice their problems.

Sometimes we tend to go to extremes. It's unwise to label micro-blogs as "dangerous" just because rumors manage to spread. The real name registration practice is unable to fundamentally tackle the problem. The most effective way is that the government encourages as many users as possible to register with real names, supplemented by strong supervision and tough punishment of online crimes.

Liu Xingliang ( The real name registration will do more harm than good. The regulation will reduce online rumors and clean up the Web, but possibly at the price that this cleaner online domain is a more quiet place.

Moreover, micro-blog operators will suffer, but bigger losses will have to be taken by those companies specializing in micro-blog marketing. Micro-blogs will see fewer registrations and more netizens will become bystanders, refraining from commenting on social issues out of a fear of being reprimanded.

Hao Jinsong ( Micro-blogs are nothing but a social communication platform. People go to micro-blogs to write, just like they go to coffee shops and teahouses to have a talk. Has anyone ever been demanded to register his or her real name before entering these places?

Bei Feng ( The regulation is impractical and may end up as nothing, unenforced and a ploy by officials to get people to shut up. For example, the website is not only facing Chinese netizens, but it also has users outside China. The problem is, in some countries, citizens do not have ID cards. Besides, users in these countries can not open the interface for identity verification. Therefore, this will be a big problem when implementing the real name registration regulation.

Hot Topics