Censors sharpen their teeth in China

The Chinese censors have been back to their old ways this week. Famed of course for banning many a website – this one included – the censors have now turned their attention to television and microblogging.First to face the wrath of the censor’s pen was the popular TV talent show Super Girl.The Chinese authorities claimed that the show screened by Hunan Satelittle Television was too long – programmes apparently of that sort should not exceed more than 90 minutes. Both the Telegraph and the BBC suspect its sheer popularity and influence are the real reasons why it has been axed.Hunan have said they will replace the show with programmes that promote moral ethics and public safety itself. Just what the Supergirl viewers will have wanted.Meanwhile, in the world of blogging, there has been growing angst surrounding the success of Weibo.Weibo is China’s version of Twitter and currently has 485 million users. The problem is that it is simply too quick for the censors to react and that appears to have angered the Chinese authorities. According to AFP, Weibo’s owners, fearful of a possible fall out, have introduced “rumour-cubring teams” to try and control content. Watch this space as I suspect Weibo may not have long left…On a serious note, a Pakistan national faces imminent execution in China. Syed Zahid Hussain Shah, a 36-year-old Pakistani businessman is due to be executed on Wednesday. He was arrested in Shanghai in 2008 on drug trafficking charges. Four other people arrested at the same time were given life sentences. Amnesty International is calling for clemency.Details of how to take action on his case can be found here.

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