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Documents show how Weibo filters sensitive news in China

In this 1 August 2012 photo, employees are pictured at a Sina Weibo office in Beijing
In this 1 August 2012 photo, employees are pictured at a Sina Weibo office in Beijing

AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan

Excerpt of a 3 March 2016 CPJ Blog post by Yaqiu Wang, CPJ Northeast Asia Correspondent.

When journalists at the Guangdong-based Southern Weekly found that their 2013 new year editorial had been changed, without their knowledge, to exalt the virtues of the Communist Party, they took their outrage to the Chinese microblogging site Weibo.

The popular social media site often provides a platform for journalists and Chinese citizens to discuss news and contentious issues that mainstream press are barred from reporting on. A set of documents provided to CPJ by a former employee in Weibo's censorship department however, sheds light on how the site must tread a fine line between appeasing government censors and encouraging users to keep posting to its site.

Included in the several hundred pages of censorship logs are orders that show how Weibo reacted to the Southern Weekly story as a growing number of citizens - from lawyers, academics and students to migrant workers and celebrities - took to the site to voice support for the journalists.

Read the full story on CPJ's site.

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