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China's Weibo Shows User Locations to Combat 'Bad Behavior'

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The Weibo logo.

Last month, Weibo said it would begin testing these settings on some users in response to misinformation relating to the Ukraine-Russia war.

Credit: Florence Lo/Reuters

Chinese social media application Weibo informed its users it will publish their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses on their account pages and when they post comments, in order to rein in "bad behavior" online.

Such behavior, said Weibo, which some sites describe as “China’s equivalent to Twitter,” includes "impersonating parties involved in hot topic issues, malicious disinformation, and traffic scraping."

The new settings are intended “to ensure the authenticity and transparency of the content disseminated,” according to Weibo.

The new settings, which came into effect on Thursday,  display IP addresses in a way that users cannot deactivate.

Some users said they welcomed the measures in view of COVID-related misinformation, while others were unsettled by the apparent reduction in online anonymity.

From Reuters
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