WeChat faces faces account crackdowns due to Chinese censorship

An inherent problem of popularity on the Chinese internet is that the censors pay much closer attention. On March 13th Tencent’s social media service Weixin, or WeChat, provided the latest proof of this axiom. Dozens of its popular public accounts were shut down, many of them set up by journalists and commentators who delivered occasionally sensitive news and commentary to their subscribers.

One of China’s most popular messaging apps, WeChat, has started shutting down certain accounts known for their political writings, the latest sign that the nation is stepping up its censorship of the Internet. Chinese users began noticing the closures on Thursday, as several public accounts on WeChat went silent. Users trying to access them were instead met with a message that said the accounts had violated WeChat policies. Tencent, the Chinese Internet giant behind the social networking platform, said the account closures were made to ensure a quality user experience. “We continually review and take measures on suspicious cases of spam, violent, pornographic and illegal content. We also welcome users to report to us online or through our 24-hour hotline,” the company said in an email.

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