With widespread online rumors claiming China will implement a
blog name verification system, the Internet Society of China (ISC)
has clarified that so far the Ministry of Information Industry has
not officially made any such policies.
“However, a real name system will be an unavoidable choice if
China wants to standardize and develop its blog industry,” said
Huang Chengqing, ISC secretary general on Sunday.
An ISC official confirmed on Thursday that the society is
working on a real name system for Chinese bloggers, proving
netizens’ guesses and triggering controversy.
Huang said some reports on the Internet about the implementation
of the real name system are not "very accurate."
The ISC, affiliated to the Ministry of Information Industry, was
entrusted by the ministry to form a blog research panel to provide
solutions for the development of China's blog industry.
"We suggest, in a recent report submitted to the ministry, that
a real name system be implemented in China's blog industry," Huang
Under such a system, a blogger would need to register his real
name, but still be able to write under a pseudonym. However, that a
lot of preparatory work must be done before the name verification
system officially runs indicated the ISC report.
"For example, a complete personal data protection system should
be established in advance," Huang said, adding that the system will
not begin before the huge netizen community is consulted
Different opinions are seen on the Internet both for and against
A netizen named Xiaosha said the real name system may weaken
liberty of speech, blogger flexibility and even threaten their
However, another netizen called Tinghai believed that the rights
infringement in China's blogs will never be curbed unless a name
verification system is shaped and starts running.
Some bloggers use the Internet to disseminate irresponsible
information, causing negative social influences.
In August, 2006, associate professor Chen Tangfa from Nanjing
University won his lawsuit against a blog company.
Chen accused the company of having failed to properly deal with
some insulting comments made about him, which were spread on the
Internet by an anonymous blogger.
Huang said the foundation of the name verification system is an
equilibrium between freedom and responsibility. "There exists no
freedom without any abstention, and to limit also benefits the
further development of this industry."
According to ISC's survey, about half of Chinese netizens
support the real name system. Another survey showed that half of
the bloggers opened their blogs to "share with others their own
thoughts and resources," while others used them to store materials
and data, communicate, and keep up with the latest information.
China currently has about 17.5 million bloggers according to a
recent ISC report.
(Xinhua News Agency, October 23, 2006)