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Chinese court uses microblogging to broadcast trial of disgraced politician

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Weibo User
Weibo User

The Chinese government is not known for transparency, but it has begun offering citizens a limited glimpse into the trial of disgraced politician Bo Xilai. China's Jinan Intermediate People's Court is using the popular microblogging website Sina Weibo to provide live updates of the trial proceedings. The posts are not exactly unbiased, the court retains full control of all information leaving the courtroom, but it's still providing citizens a rare glimpse into a system that is traditionally blocked from public view.

It's hard to gauge citizens' reactions to the trial, as the Chinese government is known for censoring politically-charged posts. Additionally, Sina Weibo users are required to verify their identity, further reducing the motivation to post any comment challenging the government. The trial itself is far from unbiased; Bo was provided a government-appointed lawyer and was unable to visit his family since his arrest. Still, several of the court's Weibo posts have been reposted tens of thousands of times, furthering the exposure of the court proceedings.