Feeds

Sarcastic tweeter jailed for mocking Communist Party

Petition launched to fight terror charge against still-missing Zhai Xiaobing

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A petition has been launched calling for the release of Zhai Xiaobing, a Chinese blogger who mocked the recent Communist Party Congress in an irreverent tweet and was promptly arrested on terrorism charges.

Zhai, a 36-year-old financial worker from Beijing, made the mistake of belittling the Party at its most politically sensitive time – just prior to the once-in-a-decade leadership handover during the 18th Congress.

He likened the event to the latest installment of the Final Destination films, with the following 4 November tweet (tr Epoch Times):

Final Destination 6 will be in cinemas on November 6. The Great Hall of the People suddenly collapses, and only seven of the over 2000 people holding a meeting inside survive—but afterwards, they each die, one by one. Is it the game of God, or the fury of the Grim Reaper? How did the mysterious number 18 unlock the gate of hell? The earthshaking world premier opens on November 8!

Former hack Zhai, who posts under the Twitter name @stariver is thought to have been cuffed three days later and has not been seen since.

Rights activist Wen Yunchao started a petition calling for Zhai’s release at the weekend and at the time of writing it has accrued over 300 signatures.

While China’s home grown microblogs such as Sina are heavily self-regulated and monitored closely for any illegal content, it’s more unusual to hear of a Twitter user suffering at the hands of China’s Public Security Bureau (PSB) – partly because it is technically blocked in the country and so not many use it.

One notable exception is the case of activist Cheng Jianping, known as Wang Yi, who was sentenced to a year in a labour camp for “re-education” after a sarcastic tweet mocking anti-Japan protests at the time.

At the time, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo issued the following tweet:

Chinese Government, year-long detentions for sending a sarcastic tweet are neither the way forward nor the future of your great people.

It’s unclear how the authorities tracked @stariver back to his home, although it's fairly certain that internet companies would have to divulge any relevant information if approached by the PSB. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.