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Tweeting for the departed


10:19, January 20, 2013

BEIJING, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- A 27-year-old IT worker in China has been paying tribute to the dead by tweeting requiems on the popular twitter-like service Sina Weibo.

Giving an alias as Xiaolin, the man behind the Weibo account "shizherusifudead" updates obituary-like tweets in the middle of the night for the departed, mostly people he has never met.

Called "online encoffiner," he has paid respect to more than 800 people since July 3, 2011, when he retweeted the first obituary.

His latest message is for a girl. It reads, "@xiaoxuexuebai, female, 25, died on Aug. 24 in car crash after a quarrel with your boyfriend...I browsed your Weibo pages over and over again, seeing you climb Mount Putuo in the rain and tweet posts about Buddha."

Usually less than 100 Chinese characters, Xiaolin tries to sketch the deceased.

Each time Xiaolin finishes an obituary, he replies to the post with a "lighted candle," and is sometimes followed by thousands of Weibo users.

"Wherever it is, death should be treated with dignity, even in Weibo, a platform mainly for fun and entertainment," said Xiaolin, who is from south China's Fujian Province.

His followers are the major source of information, but he has to spend time confirming the deaths.

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