Last week a well-known writer called Hao Qun, whose pen name is Murong Xuecun, had his Weibo accounts with the providers Sina, Tencent, Net-Ease, and Sohu deleted simultaneously. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

In its latest effort to muzzle dissent and steer public opinion, the Chinese government has started to shut or freeze microblogs written by pro(...)