After facing intensifying pressure from Chinese regulators, Weibo announced this week that it has hired 1,000 “supervisors” whose primary responsibility will be to censor content on the social media platform. The move marks a new turn of censorship for Weibo, one of the most popular social media networks in China…
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The company says that the supervisors will be given a membership for the platform, as well as an “online subsidy equal to around 200 yuan” – that’s around $30. The supervisors will “work on their leisure time” and are required to report at least 200 posts (via The Diplomat). Weibo is specifically target content that is pornographic, illegal, or harmful.
In addition to the base salary, Weibo says it will reward supervisors with the best performance with iPhones and other smartphones, laptops, and more.
Weibo explains that this move comes after pressure from the Beijing Office of Cyberspace Affairs and is for “strengthening the netizens self-discipline and cleaning the Weibo environment.” Chinese authorities say that Weibo’s users are often responsible for spreading information that “jeopardizes national security, public safety, and social order.”
As of May of this year, Weibo has some 340 million active monthly users, making it bigger than Twitter and one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. The move to increase censorship, however, will likely be controversial for its users.
China has been cracking down on internet usage recently. Just a few months ago, Apple was forced to remove VPN apps from the App Store in China to comply with local regulations.
Weibo is available on the iOS App Store.