China’s cyberspace watchdog launches campaign targeting illegal external links, protection of minors
Published: Apr 28, 2024 07:05 PM
AI Photo:VCG

AI Photo:VCG

China's cyberspace watchdog announced on Sunday the launch of a two-month nationwide campaign targeting illegal external links for online content including among group and social network circles and live streaming and video content with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. 

The campaign also targets pornographic and content displayed in commercial promotion areas of channels frequented by minors.

Illegal website links are published in user profile pictures, nicknames, bios, signatures, and covers. Methods such as posting explicit and low-quality content, frequent likes and follows, and account bio promotions are used for promotion and redirection among illegal accounts, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said in a post published on Sunday. 

Illegal website links are also posted in comments under popular topics and live streams. Tactics such as "don't search this" or "ignore the text below" are used to induce users to search for illegal sites.

Links to pornographic and scam websites are shared within chat histories, H5 pages, document notes, and mini-program sharing links will be targeted. Fake group buying and game testing activities are used alongside hyperbolic language like "not forwarding makes you unpatriotic," to induce users to click on and spread illegal links.

New AI technology or false identities are used to post pseudo-success advice, "health courses," and financial tips, leading users to add friends or join groups for scams, the authority said. 

Suggestive content is shared during live streams through placards, quick mobile screen switches, and censored photo displays, or illegal URLs are embedded in live announcements, program lists, and stickers.

Accounts on dating platforms post revealing photos to attract the opposite sex for illegal activities related to pornography and gambling will be a focus on officials. Vulgar comics and novels are pushed in browser pop-up ads, enticing users to click "read full text" or "continue listening," redirecting them to external illegal websites. 

Illegal website links are artificially placed at the top of search results or generated as associated search terms to induce clicks, the CAC said. 

Pornographic games are sold under the guise of "emotional single-player games," with customer service leading to third-party platforms for the sale of erotic novels. Services like "video live streaming promotion" or "fan base engagement" are offered to entice private inquiries, which actually provide services like inflating views, controlling reviews, or increasing followers.

The CAC said some pornographic novels and vulgar online literature are displayed in commercial promotion areas of channels frequented by minors. 

Pornographic links are posted in apps used mainly by minors under the guise of free comics and video resources, leading them to illegal websites or to obtain pornographic material through cloud storage. These efforts aim to curb the spread of illegal content and protect the digital environment.

Global Times