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Flaws force microblogging site to suspend service

Flaws force microblogging site to suspend service

Source: Global Times [02:09 December 23 2009] Comments By Zhang Lei
People's Microblogging, a new microblogging platform by People's Daily Online, was suspended shortly after it went online for "trial operation" Tuesday.
Random sensitive terms popped up on t.people.com.cn without being filtered. Some posters identified themselves as being from "Twitter tourist group."
A user praised the microblog for making several breakthroughs. Users are able to send messages to strangers through the microblog. They can send the message through MSN and GTALK.
It was suspended two hours after many users praised the microblog as being liberal for allowing sensitive words.
A customer service woman told the Global Times that the microblog would soon return because it was still being tested and debugging was being done.
Another technician said the service was not yet officially launched because there was no hyperlink on the homepage of People's Daily Online to help Internet users gain access to the microblog. He offered no timetable for the official launch.
A report issued by the Chinese Academy of Social Science on Monday called Society of China: Analysis and Forecast 2010, said microblogging has become the most powerful platform for public opinions.
Different from Western microbloggers who talked mostly about their daily lives, Chinese users have strong interests in social events, and some of them became "citizen journalists" by reporting sudden events on microblogs, the report said.
"It is difficult to control illegal activities on microblogs because it is a new service combining website browsing, short messaging, email and instant messaging," said Shi Xiansheng, assistant secretary-general of China Internet Society.
Shan Xuegang, co-writer of the report, told the Global Times that managing the con-tent of microblogs is difficult.
"As microblog is a vibrant media tool for public opinion, especially its mobile features of uploading enable users to easily create a hype, it is still a problem for authorities to manage it," he said.

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