THE RULE: Beijing authorities on Friday ordered Internet microblogs to require users to register with their real names within three months, a tightening of rules aimed at controlling China's rapidly growing social networks.
THE BACKDROP: Government officials warned in October that tighter new guidelines for social media sites were coming. Officials said then they were concerned about people using the Internet to spread lies and rumors.
THE WORRY: The government is also clearly worried about the use of social media to mobilize potentially destabilizing protest movements. China had more than 485 million Internet users as of the end of June, the most of any country in the world.