China wants to censor all social media comments

Is for new changes Provisions on the management of Internet Post Commenting ServicesA regulation that was first implemented in 2017. Five years later, the cyberspace administration wants to bring it up to date.

“The proposed amendments primarily update the current version of the ‘Comment Rules’ to bring them in line with the more recent authorities’ language and policies, such as new laws on the protection of personal information, data security and general content rules.” Says Jeremy Doom, a senior fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center.

The provisions cover a wide range of “comments”, including forum posts, replies, messages left on public message boards, and “bullet chats” (an innovative way used to display real-time comments on top of video platforms in China). . Movie). All formats including texts, symbols, gifs, pictures, audio and video are covered by this regulation.

Comments alone require regulation because the sheer number makes it difficult to censor them as strictly as other content, such as articles or videos, says Eric Liu, a former censor at Weibo who is now researching Chinese censorship in the China Digital Times.

“One thing everyone in the censorship industry knows is that no one pays attention to answers and bullet chats. They are handled with care, with minimal effort,” Liu says.

But recently, there have been many strange cases where comments under government Weibo accounts were rogue, pointing to government lies or denying official descriptions. It may be that the proposed update of the regulator has been promoted.

Chinese social platforms are currently on the frontline of censorship work, often actively removing posts before the government and other users can even see them. ByteDance famously employs thousands of content reviewers, who make up the largest number of employees in the company. Other companies also outsource from “censorship-for-hire” companies, including those owned by the People’s Party’s mouthpiece People’s Daily. Platforms are often punished for slipping things.

Beijing is constantly improving its social media controls, improving loopholes and introducing new sanctions. But the ambiguity of the latest reforms worries people that the government may ignore practical challenges. For example, if the new rule mandating pre-published reviews is to be strictly enforced અસરકારક effectively reading the billions of public messages posted by Chinese users every day દબાણ the pressure to dramatically increase the number of people they employ to censor that platform Will. The difficult question is whether the government wants to implement this immediately.

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