China Cracks Down on Microblogs

Lyla Katz

BEIJING — The Chinese government continues its crackdown on pornographic material by shutting down more than 200 microblogs for carrying pornographic and vulgar content.

The public tipped off authorities about the offensive material, which was found on Twitter-like microblogging site Weibo, Xinhua News Agency reported citing a statement from the State Internet Information office.

Weibo has become a tool for spreading news and opinions.

"Relevant departments have criticized these sites for their slack management and have warned them to rectify their misconduct," the statement said.

According to officials, microblogs and Internet portals must abide by legal obligations and “refuse to be used as a platform to spread obscene material.”

Officials said it will beef up supervision over microblogs and other technology-based content, though the government admitted to facing challenges in monitoring social media platforms.

But analysts said it is unlikely to shut down what has become an important valve for monitoring and easing social pressures.