LinkedIn Rebuked by China for Failing to Control Political Content: Report

Microsoft’s communications website LinkedIn appears to be in hot water in China as Internet regulator in the country reprimanded a company official this month for failing to control political content, reports The New York Times. LinkedIn was the only major American social network allowed to operate in China. Microsoft’s employee management service describes the posts made by millions of Chinese users.

But it is not clear what assets have put the company in trouble. The director said he had found questionable posts circulating during the annual meeting of Chinese lawyers, The New York Times reported quoting people, who had been notified of the matter.

As a punishment, people say, officials require LinkedIn to conduct its own self-assessment and report to China’s Cyberspace Administration, the country’s Internet regulator.

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The service was also forced to suspend new user registrations within China for 30 days, adding one person, although that time may change depending on management’s decision.

China’s Cyberspace Administration did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.

Last week, Microsoft’s communications website LinkedIn said it was suspending registration of new members in China as the company worked to ensure compliance with local law.

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China is notorious for controlling and monitoring domestic Internet use and actively blocking any websites or links that appear to contradict communist group statements.

The country has the world’s largest research program known as the “Great Firewall”. The Chinese government controls the media with strategies that include blocking IP addresses, DNS attacks and filtering certain URLs and keywords within URLs, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

According to an SCMP article in November, over the past few years, the number of websites banned in China has reached 10,000.

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