A new protocol issued by Sina Weibo which stipulates that users must acquire the platform's approval before allowing third parties to use the content they post to the site has triggered public concerns over the platform's right to use and delete their content.
The social media platform issued a user's protocol on Friday, the first part of which says that users shall agree to authorize Sina Weibo as the exclusive platform on which to publish the information posted to the site, including words, images, videos and audio.
The second part of the protocol reads that without the platform's written approval, users are not allowed to authorize any third parties to use the users' content in any way, directly or indirectly.
The protocol immediately caused a backlash among Sina Weibo users, especially celebrities, who asked why they should surrender their right to do whatever they want with content they have generated. Many expressed fear that the ambiguous protocol hands Sina Weibo too much control over their content, including the right to delete it at will.
Facing opposition, Sina Weibo announced on Saturday that they have deleted the first part of the protocol, but the approval requirement remains, much to users' chagrin. Meanwhile, over the weekend, many users demanded an explanation from Sina Weibo about why their posts had been deleted and which laws or regulations they have violated.
Some celebrities also announced that they have decided to leave Weibo and will post their work on other platforms.