Penalized news app Toutiao sets ‘New Era’ as default channel

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/1 21:03:39

China's popular online news platform Toutiao has suspended more than 1,000 unregulated accounts and set "New Era" as the default channel in order to better promote main-stream values.

Toutiao has included "New Era" as one of its in-app default channels to release information or reports about China's accomplishments and efforts after socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, according to a Sunday notice posted on its WeChat public platform.

The move is a step to better promote main-stream values and the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the notice said.

The platform also vowed to continue diligent oversight of its content. It closed 36 accounts and banned another 1,101 on Sunday from posting low-quality content in violation of governmental regulations.

The involved accounts featured content centering on celebrity gossip, sexual innuendo and violence, the Global Times reporter found.

One suspended account "Wind cold the heart," with more than 6,000 followers, posted hundreds of videos showing animal abuse. Another account, "Narcissus Entertainment" posted articles with implicit pornographic content.

Toutiao also announced the closing of its society channel. So far, this channel has only been closed on Toutiao's app, and not on its website.

Meanwhile, the platform announced that from now on each account will be regulated by a 100-point scoring system.

Each instance of inappropriate content will result in a deduction of 20 points and two days' ban of posting. The channel will be banned when it reaches 0 points.

Toutiao's move came right after the Beijing Municipal Cyberspace Information Office on Friday ordered Toutiao to temporarily suspend parts of its channels for "spreading pornographic and lewd information" and providing news services without the necessary licenses.

Toutiao and Phoenix News "continuously carried pornographic content, seriously misled the public and caused a very negative impact on the online media environment," said the office.

The two platforms were also found to have produced or reposted news content without the necessary licenses, "disturbing online order," the watchdog said, urging the two apps to rectify their violations.

Six Toutiao channels were ordered to suspend updates for 24 hours until Saturday evening, while two Phoenix News channels were not allowed to update for 12 hours.

Posted in: SOCIETY

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