Weibo and Baidu fined for failing to control improper online content

By Global Times - Xinhua Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/25 22:18:39

Weibo and Baidu get caught up in questions about improper content

Beijing's cyberspace administrator said Monday that it imposed fines on China's Twitter-like Weibo and the Internet giant Baidu's online forum for failing to manage their platforms carefully.

The administrator used its WeChat account to announce that Sina Weibo users had posted information and comments inciting ethnic hatred and had spread pornography, and that Baidu Tieba users had spread obscene, violent and terrorist comments in their posts.

It said that the two social media platforms were given administrative penalties for failing to fulfill their management duties and violating China's Cyber Security Law.

In August, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) asked the administrators of the cities of Beijing and South China's Guangzhou to look into Sina Weibo and Baidu Tieba after it received tip-offs from users about the platforms failing to manage their vulgar, violent information, as well as rumors about the threat to social stability and harmony.

At the same time, more than 20 million items online with pornographic or obscene content have been deleted or handled in other ways in a 40-day crackdown by Chinese regulators, the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications announced on Monday.

The office said it had reports from the public about various online platforms that it had scrutinized, including website portals, news apps, live streaming platforms, app stores, and online literature, gaming, video and forum websites.

Wang Sixin, deputy dean of the Communication University of China's School of Literature and Law, said, "Netizens could be exposed to harmful or even terrorist information on the Internet if it isn't appropriately regulated," in a previous interview with the Global Times.

The CAC published some regulations in mid-September on online chat groups, and said that people who start WeChat groups need to be responsible for them, to which Wang added that they really need to regulate the behavior of members as well as their posts in accordance with the law, user agreements and platform conventions.

Newspaper headline: Weibo and Baidu get caught up in questions about improper content

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