The Economist :: At nine o'clock in the morning on March 19th, financial journalist Li Delin tweeted on his account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblog, about unusually heavy traffic control on Beijing’s central east-west thoroughfare, Chang’an Boulevard. Though the tweet has since been deleted (see Google cache, he mentioned “military vehicles everywhere”, “several plain-clothes at each intersection” and “iron barricades”. The tweet spread.
Days later, friends said in their own remarks on microblogs, the journalist had been detained, possibly for that tweet. Mr Li, it seems, may have unwittingly helped spark the prairie fire of rumours of a coup attempt by powerful supporters of Bo Xilai, the ousted party secretary of Chongqing. Now the authorities have struck back against some of those spreading rumours.
Hat tip: Mark Little, founder of Storyful.
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