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CHINA TIMES (Taiwan)

BEIJING - Sina Weibo, one of China's most popular microblogging websites, announced last week the launch of the Sina Microblogging Community Convention in order "to defend the order of microblogging." That was the claim, at least, the reality is that it was just a ploy for giving the administrator the right to delete posts that may otherwise be destined to be censored by Chinese authorities, reports the China Times.

The regulation mainly involves the deletion of "security-endangering, false, sensitive information or rumors, as well as private or obscene information," the Taiwan-based publication reported. Any infringement will result in the deletion of information, and the temporary shut-down or permanent closure of the user's account.

It is believed that Sina is doing this in exchange for being allowed to stay in business after being punished and shut down for three days in early April this year by the authorities for "releasing and forwarding false information​​" related to the Bo Xilai affair, the China Times reported.

Since the birth of Weibo, social media have quickly become the most effective forum for the Chinese public in lambasting corrupt officials and abuses of power. More than 100 million messages are posted each day on Sina Weibo. This does not count the millions on China's other major microblog service provider, Tencent QQ. Beijing authorities as well as many local governments are particularly nervous about the potential influence and danger they bring.

The Chinese diaspora, including people in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States where Sina Weibo has clients, are appalled that Sina is giving in. "It's becoming the thug of Chinese censorship," the China Times wrote.

The Epoch Times, an overseas Chinese community newspaper, concluded that: "Sina Weibo has reduced itself to enslavement."

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Society

In Denmark, Beloved Christmas TV Special Cancelled For Blackface Scenes

The director of the 1997 episode complained that TV executives are being "too sensitive."

Screenshot of a child wearing apparent blackface as part of a vintage "TV Christmas calendar" episode on Danish TV

Screenshot of the controversial scene in a vintage episode of Denmark's traditional "TV Christmas calendar"

Amélie Reichmut

If there’s one thing Scandinavians take seriously, it’s Christmas. And over the past half-century, in addition to all the family and religious traditions, most Nordic countries share a passion for what's known as the "TV Christmas calendar": 24 nightly television episodes that air between Dec. 1 and Christmas Eve.

Originally, the programs were strictly aimed at children; but over the years, the stories evolved more towards family entertainment, with some Christmas calendars becoming classics that generations of Swedes, Danes, Norwegians and others have watched each year as national and family traditions in their own right.

But this year in Denmark, one vintage episode has been pulled from the air because of a blackface scene.

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