The new user contracts that Sina Weibo instituted in May are great for keeping anti-government speech off of the popular microblogging service, but corporations and individuals sick of being criticized on the web have to take matters into their own hands. Chinese search giant Baidu told the press it is firing four of its employees over suspicions that they deleted users’ posts for cash; the large sums involved leading to the arrest of three of the individuals, reports The Wall Street Journal. The company says that the illegal deletions are a major problem, but that it cross references a record of original posts with the changes its employees make in order to spot suspicious activity.
"Baidu has fired the four. If we discover such cases, we will severely punish staff. Baidu will close the loopholes by strengthening management to maintain order in our communication platform," the company said in a statement to the Global Times. The paper reports that the going rates for professional post deletion range from 1,000 yuan (about $157) to delete a forum post to long-term "maintenance service" that runs $25,000 to $30,000 a year.