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China Wipes out thousands of social media accounts

China Wipes out thousands of social media accounts
China Wipes out thousands of social media accounts

China’s greatest cyber jurisdiction has scrubbed 9,800 societal media reports of independent information providers deemed to get submitted dramatic, vulgar or harmful content online, it said on Monday.

China’s rigorous online censorship rules have shrunk in recent years with new laws to limit media outlets, surveillance steps for media websites and rolling attempts to remove content deemed unsuitable.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said in a statement the effort, established on Oct. 20, had erased that the accounts for offenses that included “dispersing clinically harmful info, maliciously falsifying (Chinese Communist) party background, slandering personalities and defaming the country’s image.”

CAC also summoned social networking giants, such as Tencent’s (0700. HK) Wechat and Sina-owned (SINA.O) Weibo, warning them from neglecting to stop “uncivilized growth” and “all sorts of chaos” among independent websites in their own platforms.

“The havoc among self-media accounts has severely trampled about the dependence on the law and damaged the interests of the masses,” CAC explained.

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The expression “self-media” is largely used on interpersonal websites to characterize independent news reports which create original content but aren’t officially enrolled with the government.

Such reports have proliferated in the past few decades and vary from hard-hitting investigative journalism to celebrity gossip or lewd content. Many are hugely popular because of supplying more innovative and breathtaking information than official sources.

Online commentators noticed that a number of the accounts closed were sharing bogus or pornographic articles – both of which are prohibited in China – but also lamented that a number of the accounts targeted at this latest sweep seemed to have only been overly critical.

One Weibo user questioned an artwork and entertainment site known as “youshuguang” has been blocked.

“The one that I truly don’t get is youshuguang, that left no indication of violations and composed emotive articles in a well-behaved method. Why were they blocked?” The Weibo user composed.

“You get blocked if you write the facts, get blocked if you write lies, so what exactly are we supposed to convey?”

NGOCN, a group which generated popular posts about social problems in China, had two reports deleted but vowed in an announcement to keep on producing articles.

“This is an age of accounts obliterated,” the team stated. “It moved from one article being obstructed, to the censorship of a banned speech… then now all of a sudden, we’ve got no account.”

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About the author

Rick Noack

Editor

Rick has worked as foreign affairs reporter who covers Europe and international security issues from The Washington Post's Berlin bureau. Previously, he worked for The Post from Washington as an Arthur F. Burns Fellow and from London. Originally from Germany, he studied at Sciences Po Paris, Johns Hopkins University and King's College London.

To get in touch with Rick for news reports he published you can email him on [email protected] or reach him out in social media linked below.

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