1.7 million online platform accounts targeted in cyberspace rectification campaign
Published: Jan 09, 2024 07:14 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese internet authorities have cleared up 7.9 million illegal messages, handled more than 1.7 million platform accounts, closed down 562 websites and removed 201 mobile apps during a national campaign, which aims to clear up illegal and harmful content across life service platforms ranging from chatting and social networking, online shopping to search engines and job hunting.

During the campaign, which was launched in late September of 2023, key websites and platforms have conducted self-inspections and self-rectifications based on their characteristics. Platforms voluntarily closed channels and sections that excessively presented entertainment gossips and provided paid fortune-telling services. They also conducted thorough clean-ups of various illegal and harmful information, updated and improved keyword thesauruses related to harmful content. 

According to the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the internet watchdog shut down the online platforms and accounts that lured online users to participate in illegal activities offline. For example, some massage service providers released sexually suggestive graphic and textual information online to induce users to add social accounts and divert online users to attend illegal offline activities. 

Other unlawful individuals used cross-platform redirection navigation and other methods to embed gambling and pornographic website addresses in place names on electronic maps. Cyberspace authorities have urged relevant platforms to strengthen their information review and strictly guard against criminal gangs disseminating illegal information. 

Authorities also found that some online stores disguised USB drives containing obscene, pornographic and violent content as normal products for sale. The cyberspace administration called for platforms to promptly discover and handle stores that use covert channels to spread illegal information through measures such as users’ reports, inspection and identification and random testing. 

Law enforcement departments also disrupted the promotion and recruitment of paid posters. Local cyberspace administration authorities have taken measures such as warnings, fines and suspending some functions to punish or deal with relevant platforms in accordance with the laws.  

Moreover, the platforms are urged to set up a dedicated reporting entrance on their homepage in order to accept social supervision, promptly report any suspected illegal and criminal issues to relevant authorities. 

An official from the CAC said that the administration will continue to carry out the rectification on the information and content on certain platforms, investigate and rectify online chaos closely related to the public interest, expose typical cases and urge the websites and platforms to improve long-term management mechanisms. 

Moreover, the CAC welcomes active participation and reporting from the internet users in the campaign to promote the continuous improvement of the online ecosystem. 

Global Times