Four arrested in China over posts made on Twitter-like Sina Weibo

Four people have been arrested in China for comments made on the country's answer to Twitter, Sina Weibo.

The users have been charged with "incited dissatisfaction with the government" through publicising rumours about a dead soldier who is widely used in state propaganda.

"Information that seriously harmed the image of Lei Feng was rapidly transmitted across the Internet and Lei Feng's glorious image was quickly brought into question," the Communist Party's People's Daily said.

It is also alleged that the group have in some way made money from the posts, state media has reported.

Sina Weibo is a hugely popular platform and has over 500 million registered users. Around 100 million messages are posted every day on the network.

"On one hand they know how popular this platform is, but they are also aware it can be a disruptive force," BBCchinese.com editor Zhuang Chen said.

"This is one of the main campaigns that the Chinese public security ministry is carrying out - to send out a clear message."

Techinasia.com reported earlier this month that the government met a number of China's web celebrities and asked them to agree to self censorship.

A brief report in the People's Daily, according to Techinasia.com's translation, said: "Everyone agreed that Internet celebrities should take on additional social responsibilities [so] the group reached a common agreement to protect 'seven minimums'".

These include the 'socialist', 'moral traditions', 'public order' and 'national interest' 'minimums'.