Malicious online usernames removed to clean up Chinese cyberspace

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-2-26 23:13:01

China's social media operators including giants Sina, Baidu and Tencent and other online service providers have removed over 60,000 malicious online usernames, a move to support the government's recent regulation to clean up cyberspace.

A statement released by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) Thursday said Sina Weibo punished 5,500 accounts, including fake accounts of the provincial governments of Guangdong and Anhui, and accounts promoting terrorism such as one called the "East Turkestan Islamic Movement."

For its part, Baidu punished 23,495 accounts for promoting malicious and pornographic content. Tencent examined its four platforms, Wechat, Weibo, QQ and Qzone and punished 25,836 accounts, including those that promote gambling and the use of weapons.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has established a username management team which focuses on monitoring account names for its services, such as popular online marketplace Taobao and music sharing site Xiami.

The announcement was made two days before a new 10-clause username regulation is officially implemented on March 1.

The new regulation states that avatars and account names should not include information that violates the Constitution or laws, subverts State power, undermines national security and sovereignty, or considered rumor-mongering.

Instant messengers Yixin and Momo have also promised to support the new regulation to strengthen online security.

A CAC spokesperson said Thursday that Internet companies showed their responsibility by taking action before the regulation takes effect, adding that their support is crucial in achieving a healthy online environment.

Sina Weibo, Wechat and Tencent have started cleaning up harmful usernames, avatars and personal introductions early this month. According to the CAC, some netizens reported these accounts.

The campaign to clean up cyberspace is in line with Chinese President Xi Jinping's remarks during the first meeting of the central Internet security and informatization leading group in February last year.

Xu Feng, head of the CAC's mobile Internet bureau, denied that the regulation would take away netizens' freedom to choose a personalized username.

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