Sina Weibo

♦ Critics argue that new banking regulations merely tinker with existing rules rather than preventing another meltdown. The FT’s banking editor examines the more radical remedies.
♦ Twenty years after the Oslo Accord, the London Review of Books republishes an essay by Edward Said. He called the agreement “an instrument of Palestinian surrender” and said, “There is little in the document to suggest that Israel will give up its violence against Palestinians…”
♦ Margaret Sullivan, the public editor at the New York Times, explains how you commission a piece from Vladimir Putin.
♦ The people censoring Sina Weibo in China are young, underpaid, overstressed – and few of them are women because the job involves constant exposure to offensive material.
♦ Altaf Hussain, the leader of the Muttahida Qaumi movement, loses his grip on his Pakistani political empire as a British murder investigation closes in on him.  Read more

Esther Bintliff

Demonstrators outside the offices of Southern Weekend in Guangzhou, January 8 (AFP/Getty)

Demonstrators outside the offices of Southern Weekend in Guangzhou on January 8 (AFP/Getty)

Any government that is intent on controlling public debate has traditionally had a number of tools at its disposal. Direct ownership of the press, punishment of unruly journalists or artists and the promotion of malleable ones, book burning, propaganda … the list goes on. The internet, a sprawling, uncontrollable and ever-growing beast may have given birth to a new set of challenges for modern totalitarian powers, but China has thrown its resources at the problem with gusto, keeping a lid on simmering dissent with a mix of technology, commercial incentives, legal restrictions and carefully selected pressure valves.

That is partly why the open revolt by journalists in Guangzhou this past week was so surprising – because it suggested that, just occasionally, spontaneous anger and frustration could yet circumvent the great firewall of China, even if only briefly.

In the FT

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