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Weibo, China's Social Media Platform, Issues Warning To Users About Sharing Winter Olympics Content

Weibo, China's Social Media Platform, Issues Warning To Users About Sharing Winter Olympics Content
The users of Weibo, China's version of Twitter, were sent out a message which warned them not to upload any content from the forthcoming Beijing Winter Olympics that could be determined as the property of or that infringes the broadcast rights of the broadcaster. The warning sent on Friday also stated that in case this warning is not adhered to, defaulters would be blocked from the platform.
The domestic social media network, which claims to currently have more than 570 million monthly active users, issued a statement and sent direct messages to all of its members, regardless of whether they had previously shared any Olympics content.
The warning sent by the platform stated that CCTV, China's national broadcaster, had exclusive broadcasting rights for the Games in mainland China, including Macau, from February 4 to 20. It further stated that any content reproduced without CCTV's permission would be infringing on its rights and hence was liable to be punished.
"In such cases, Weibo will at the request of the copyright owner, take measures such as deleting and blocking any infringing content you may publish, and serious offenders will be punished with bans and other penalties," it said.
"Please participate and interact with the Olympics in a civilized and legal way, spread Olympic content and cheer together for Chinese athletes!"
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) strictly safeguards the rights of broadcasters during the Games and has stated that posting recordings on social media, including by athletes, is not permitted.
Elaine Thompson-Herah, a Jamaican sprinter who won two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, was briefly suspended from Instagram after posting recordings of her victories in the 100 and 200 meters races to her 310,000 followers.
While the content posted by Thompson-Herah from Facebook-owned Instagram was removed, the suspension was administered incorrectly, according to a Facebook spokeswoman.
Many Weibo users made jokes about how the platform had transmitted the news on Friday.
"It gave me a fright," said one, "I initially thought I did something wrong."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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