Chinese Weibo warns users against posting Winter Olympics content

The logo of Chinese social media app Weibo is seen on a mobile phone in this illustrative photo taken December 7, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration

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SHANGHAI, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, on Friday sent messages to its users warning them against posting any content from the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics owned by rights holders broadcast or at risk of being blocked.

The platform, which has more than 570 million monthly active users, posted a notice on its official account and sent direct messages to its users, whether or not they have posted Olympic content in the past.

In the notice, it said China’s state-run broadcaster CCTV has exclusive rights to broadcast the Games from Feb. 4-20 in mainland China, including Macau, and that any content reposted without CCTV’s consent would violate its rights.

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“In such cases, Weibo will, at the request of the copyright holder, take measures such as removing and blocking any infringing content you may post, and serious offenders will be punished with bans and penalties. other penalties,” he said.

“Please participate and interact with the Olympics in a civil and legal manner, spread Olympic content, and cheer on Chinese athletes together!”

The International Olympic Committee strictly protects the rights of Games broadcasters and has said sharing videos on social media is not allowed, even for athletes.

Two-time gold medalist Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah was briefly blocked on Instagram at the Tokyo Olympics after posting videos of her winning 100 and 200 meter races to her 310,000 followers.

A Facebook spokesperson (FB.O) later said that while content Thompson-Herah posted from Facebook-owned Instagram was removed, the suspension was wrongfully applied.

On Friday, many Weibo users joked about how the platform communicated the notice. “It scared me,” said one, “I first thought I had done something wrong.”

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Reporting by Brenda Goh and Winni Zhou; Editing by Michael Perry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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