Regulators to enforce order on internet

Enforcement efforts aimed at ensuring orderly communication will be strengthened on all internet platforms, the Cyberspace Administration of China said on Sunday.


In a statement summarizing comments made by its director, Zhuang Rongwen, during a video conference on Saturday, the administration said it will focus on rectifying prominent problems related to "self-media", including independently operated social media, lists of trending topics, notification pop-ups and short-video platforms.


Zhuang said platforms should closely regulate their sources of information, and the authorities will also strictly control illegal publishing and reproduction to improve the quality of content and enrich online information.


He said managing "self-media "should be a priority and the punishment for illegal accounts and platforms should be increased to provide an effective deterrent and make those who break the rules learn a lesson.


Zhuang also urged regulatory bodies to closely supervise key platforms and proactively uncover the risks and hidden dangers exposed by new platforms and applications to ensure comprehensive management.


Zhu Wei, deputy director of the Communication Law Research Center at China University of Political Science and Law, said problems that disturb the order of internet communication can include bad or illegal information released by platforms.


He said the reason self-media, including short-video and livestreaming platforms, was listed as a top target is because it garners the most data traffic and has the most problems. Some independently operated platforms have gained great popularity, but have done so by producing vulgar or pornographic content and engaging in copyright infringement.


Many self-media have also been involved in extortion, fake news dissemination, selling counterfeited goods, telecommunication fraud and disclosure of personal information, Zhu said, adding that this explains why self-media should be a main target for management.


He said the administration's enforcement of such management is aimed at curbing disruptive communication, highlighting good information and improving the quality of content.


Zhu said access to knowledge through the internet has huge potential.


"Many people are willing to turn to self-media, especially short videos, pushing these platforms to see traffic volume as everything," he said. "But at the end of the day, it is good content that matters the most.


"All this is to make sure that the bad stuff doesn't spread and that the good stuff spreads more."


The administration said departments across the country held talks with 4,282 website operators last year and issued warnings to 4,551 websites.


The authorities shut down 18,489 illegal websites after revoking their licenses and transferred 7,550 cases to judicial bodies. Other websites were urged to close 158,000 illegal accounts.


A series of rectification campaigns targeting livestreaming, the cyber-environment, self-media and mobile applications was also carried out and the authorities investigated a number of platforms suspected of illegal behavior and being bad social influences.


(Source: China Daily)