Weibo and TikTok's sister platform will display user locations to fight rumors

China's Twitter-like service Weibo will now display user locations
Widely popular Chinese social media platform Weibo will now display the IP addresses of users to deal with "bad behavior," Reuters reports. 

The IP address will be shown on the account pages as well as alongside comments. This will strip the platform of anonymity and nearly 200 million people reacted to this news when it was posted on the official Weibo account.

Weibo sees over 570 million monthly active users. For comparison, Twitter has 217 million monthly users, whereas Facebook has a much larger 2.94 billion user base.

If you live in China, the social media platform will publish the province or municipality from where you are posting, and if you are an international user, the name of your country will be displayed. 
The changes went live yesterday and there is no way to disable them. Thousand of comments under the post about the new rule carried new labels that revealed provinces and municipalities of users.

Weibo first revealed that it was going to implement these changes last month in response to what it perceived as misinformation about the Ukraine-Russia war. The platform has also suspended and banned accounts for expressing dissenting opinions.

The move may have been prompted by an announcement by the Chinese internet watchdog Cyberspace Administration of China which has set a deadline of this year to remove all rumors and false reports from online platforms.

Weibo says it has introduced these changes to curb bad behavior such as the spread of misinformation and to ensure the authenticity and transparency of the information being shared. 

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China has very strict internet censorship policies and in recent times has tightened control over internet giants like Alibaba, game operator Tencent, and Weibo.

Weibo is not the only platform that has decided to display user IP addresses. ByteDance, who owns TikTok, has said that Jinri Toutiao, its news aggregator will also track user location.

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