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China moves towards "real name system" for blogs

Reuters | October 24 2006

The Internet Society of China has recommended to the government that bloggers be required to use their real names when they register blogs, state media said on Monday, in the latest attempt to regulate free-wheeling Web content.

The society, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Information Industry, said no decision had been made but that a 'real name system' was inevitable.

"A real name system will be an unavoidable choice if China wants to standardise and develop its blog industry," the official Xinhua news agency quoted the Internet Society's secretary general, Huang Chengqing, as saying.

"We suggest, in a recent report submitted to the ministry, that a real name system be implemented in China's blog industry," Huang said.

China has already imposed some controls on Internet chatter about politically sensitive subjects, which often goes far beyond what is permissible in the country's traditional state-run media.

Last year, the Ministry of Information Industry issued regulations on Internet news content that analysts said was aimed at extending rules governing licensed news outlets to blogs and Internet-only news sites.

Participation in university on-line discussion groups has also been restricted to students.

Bloggers anonymously disseminating untrue information on the Internet brought about a negative influence on society, the Xinhua report said.

Under the proposed rule, users would be required to register under their real name to open a blog but would still be allowed to write under a pseudonym.

 

 

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