China orders microblog operators to tighten censorship

BEIJING — Ratcheting up control over Chinese microblogs, regulators ordered operators on Friday to set up a mechanism to remove false information after the most popular service was criticized for allowing prohibited material to spread.

The order adds to a steady drumbeat of new measures imposed by the government of President Xi Jiinping to tighten control over what China's public can see and say online while still trying to reap the economic benefits of internet use.

Microblog operators must set up a mechanism to monitor accounts for false information and delete it, said an order by the Cyberspace Administration of China. It said operators must keep a copy of what users post for six months.

The ruling Communist Party encourages internet and social media use for business and education but has steadily tightened control to block material deemed subversive, pornographic or socially unhealthy.

Last weekend, Sina Weibo was ordered to suspend some services for one week after authorities accused it of allowing material promoting "wrong public opinion orientation," obscenity and "ethnic discrimination."

That followed a report that Sina Weibo managers found some celebrities and companies paid marketing firms to make them appear more popular by creating phony accounts to increase their number of online followers.

Sina Weibo said it had 376 million active users as of September. That would make it the world's most popular microblog service, ahead of Twitter in the United States, which has 330 million.

Also Friday, the CAC said it ordered operators of online platforms to close three accounts it accused of spreading gossip about the private lives of celebrities.

Regulators will "strengthen strict supervision" of operators of online platforms including Sina Weibo, Tencent Ltd., Baidu Inc. and Youku Tudou Inc., the agency said.

"Vulgar speculation and wantonly spreading gossip about the private lives of stars have seriously disrupted network order and infringed the legitimate rights of citizens," the CAC said on its website. It said that harmed the "physical and mental health of young people."

You may also like these

Tibet to suspend foreign visits until after party...

Sep 25, 2017

A Chinese tourism official says visits by foreigners to Tibet will be suspended until the close of...

The Latest: Trump vows to change 'one-side and...

Nov 9, 2017

President Donald Trump is vowing to change "one-sided and unfair" trade relations with China but...

Red Square, Bangkok temple among ice festival...

Jan 5, 2018

Ice sculptures of Moscow's Red Square and Bangkok's Temple of the Emerald Buddha are among...

AP PHOTOS: People in Asia and beyond welcome...

Feb 16, 2018

AP PHOTOS: People in Asia and around the world have been celebrating the Lunar New Year Friday

Blackface in Chinese Lunar New Year sketch draws...

Feb 17, 2018

A comedy sketch that featured a Chinese woman in blackface has drawn accusations of racism after...

Sign up now!

About Us

Gempak Media delivers the most talked and gempak stories on the Internet to you. Be the first to know about the latest news and don’t forget to share it around.

Contact us: sales[at]gempakmedia.com

Subscribe Now!