On Eve of IPO, Sina Weibo Deploys New Whitelist Censorship Method When Another Official Commits Suicide

On April 10, 2014, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “Official Suicide Wave Creates Need for Greater Transparency.” Some excerpts:
Xu Ye'an, deputy director of the State Bureau for Letters and Calls, an agency to which citizens utter grievances over injustices or disputes such as illegal land grabs or official misconduct, reportedly killed himself Tuesday in his office. The cause remains unknown, but sources close to Xu told media that Xu was not in good health lately.

The case came amid several similar stories that involved Chinese officials recently. Zhou Yu, a senior police official in Chongqing and a key figure in former Communist Party chief Bo Xilai's crackdown on organized crime, was found hanging in a hotel room. Police announced that He Gaobo, deputy director of a construction management office in Fenghua, Zhejiang Province, had committed suicide and it remains unknown if his death relates to the fatal collapse of a residential building in the city a few days ago.
. . . .
As the country's anti-graft campaign proceeds vigorously and demands over officials increase, officials from the top down, while their career future still depends on their political performance, have felt mounting pressure. That's why being an official in China is viewed as a highly risky job nowadays.

Many China watchers have observed this trend in China and pointed out loopholes in the system of China's officialdom. The best way to clear away public doubts is for authorities to publish convincing information relating to official deaths and bring enlightened transparency. Only this way can they restore public trust.
These screenshots show that on April 11 Sina Weibo was censoring searches for “Xu Ye'an” (徐业安), limiting results to “Media Reports” (媒体报道) and “Famous People’s Perspectives” (名人观点), but censoring results from “Real Time Weibos” (实时微博). By April 19, Sina Weibo was completely censoring search results for “Xu Ye’an.”

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