- Devin Nunes is suing Twitter over parody accounts of his mom, cow Monday 8:15 PM
- The best new movies at SXSW 2019 Monday 7:55 PM
- #AbledsAreWeird demonstrates how not to treat people with disabilities Monday 7:33 PM
- YouTubers keep uploading racist meme anthem played by New Zealand shooter Monday 5:38 PM
- Myspace confirms that a decade-plus of user-uploaded music is gone Monday 5:03 PM
- ‘Love, Death & Robots’ suffers from blatant sexism Monday 4:38 PM
- Khloe Kardashian faces backlash for Instagram post saying to ‘love thy racist neighbor’ Monday 4:07 PM
- This Twitter user wants to expose white YouTubers for racist, transphobic content Monday 3:55 PM
- Trump retweeted a QAnon supporter during his Twitter bender Monday 1:24 PM
- Katrina Pierson supports Trump tweeting more about Fox than New Zealand shooting Monday 1:19 PM
- PewDiePie’s alt-right ties are impossible to ignore Monday 1:05 PM
- With this blade, I protect this meme Monday 12:48 PM
- Lead actress in ‘The Color Purple’ revival criticized for homophobic post Monday 12:39 PM
- ‘Arrested Development’ ends the same way it did the first time—unceremoniously Monday 12:10 PM
- Alleged gunman tried to rob YouTuber Adam22 during livestream Monday 11:32 AM
The Chinese version of the Times racked up 12,000 followers on Twitter-like Sina Weibo before its account was deleted.
The New York Times’ brief experiment with Chinese social media has come to an abrupt (if predictable) end. The company’s official account on Sina Weibo, the country’s popular Twitter-like microblogging service, has been deleted after less than a week.
The Times’ Chinese website remains unblocked. That may indicate Beijing sees social media as inherently more dangerous than static web content, as TechCrunch suggested.
More likely, Sina simply deleted the account preemptively. The company falls under the purview of China’s Internet regulations, but relies on self-censorship to enforce them. The decision to block an entire domain—such as cn.nytimes.com—would presumably come from a high-level government agency, such as the State Council Information Office or the Chinese Communist Party’s Propaganda Department.
It’s worth noting this isn’t even the first time the company’s Sina Weibo has disappeared. Shortly after its launch last week, the account briefly disappeared, only to mysteriously reappear a few hours later. It accrued about 12,000 readers before getting deleted again earlier today. Sina Weibo did not give any explanation for the blockage, and it’s unclear if The Times did anything to break any of the rules in the microblogging company’s new user contract.
The Chinese version of the The Times, launched on June 28, features a mixture of translated articles and original reporting. The paper’s goal is to provide “high-quality coverage of world affairs, business and culture,” for the country’s growing middle class, which it called “educated, affluent, global citizens,” in its official press release.
The company has made clear it won’t engage in the type of self-censorship employed by Sina Weibo.
“We’re not tailoring it to the demands of the Chinese government, so we’re not operating like a Chinese media company,” Joseph Kahn, the paper’s editor, told the company’s Media Decoder blog. “China operates a very vigorous firewall. We have no control over that. We hope and expect that Chinese officials will welcome what we’re doing.”
Photo by bfishadow
Kevin Morris is a veteran web reporter and editor who specializes in longform journalism. He led the Daily Dot’s esports vertical and, following its acquisition by GAMURS in late 2016, launched Dot Esports, where he serves as the site’s editor-in-chief.