China to intensify efforts to curb the spread of online rumors by internet celebrities
Published: Dec 22, 2023 08:31 PM
Photo: CFP

Photo: VCG

China is conducting an internet crackdown, targeting online rumors, particularly those spread by internet celebrities disseminating false information. Relevant departments are identifying loopholes in platform management and establishing a blacklist for illegal accounts, so as to promote the healthy development of the industry, China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said on Friday.

According to the MPS, it will crack down on online false information disseminated by internet celebrities, as well as internet water armies who try to profit from spreading rumors. Targeted measures will be taken against those internet influencers in accordance with the law, such as warnings and account suspension.

The MPS carried out a 100-day special campaign targeting online rumors from April to July 2023. To date, the public security departments have dealt with over 4,800 cases, punished more than 6,300 individuals for rumor-mongering, and shut down 34,000 illegal accounts in accordance with the law, media reported on Friday.

In response to certain website platforms neglecting their cybersecurity responsibilities, leading to the widespread dissemination of online rumors, public security authorities have announced plans for improvements on three fronts.

The first aspect involves reminding internet platforms that often host online rumors or struggle with the effective implementation of real-name registration and multiple product risk vulnerabilities. They will be required to rectify these issues within a specified period.

The MPS will also fully mobilize social forces to participate in the governance of online rumors, including internet companies, industry associations, netizen volunteers, and research institutions, as well as rectify the value orientation in the field of self-media, e-commerce, and entertainment, with the sole purpose of gaining more attention.

The third is to establish a blacklist of illegal accounts and promote it from a single platform to multiple platforms, in an attempt to restrict those with a record of spreading rumors from engaging in online content production.

Furthermore, the MPS announced that it will enhance publicity and guidance, carry out legal education and reminders for key internet celebrity influencers, proactively explain relevant laws and regulations, and educate and guide online influencers to abide by the law and resist spreading rumors.

On December 12, China's top internet regulator launched a one-month special campaign to rectify negative content orientation in short videos, including the spread of false information, the display of inappropriate contents and the spread of wrong values.

Global Times