China’s CAC launches new campaign to regulate social media news sites

China CAC social media
FILE PHOTO: The Chinese national flag is seen in Beijing, China April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File photo

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) will target commercial websites and social media accounts that illegally write and edit news items, and repost news articles from non-compliant sources, the CAC said in a statement on its website.

It would also deal with clickbait stories, misinformation, and other sensationalised online content, it added.

The CAC said it would also regulate online forums and livestreamed lectures, and push media sites to propagate more positive energy.

China’s strict online censorship rules have tightened in recent years with new legislation to restrict media outlets, surveillance measures for media sites and rolling campaigns to remove content deemed unacceptable.

In June, CAC penalised several of the country’s leading livestreaming and video platforms for spreading “low taste” content, reprimanding women wearing low cut clothes and men for indecent dancing and using foul language.

At that time the CAC said 10 firms, including Bilibili, Tencent-backed Huya, Douyu, Bytedance’s ixigua and Baidu’s quanminxiaoshipin, would be asked to freeze main channel updates, stop new user registrations, and revamp their platforms before a deadine.

It also called on them to punish platform supervisors and to blacklist “delinquent livestreamers”, depending on the seriousness of the violations.

(Reporting by Pei Li; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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