Thousands of social media accounts have been eliminated by the nation’s top cyber authority.
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has erased almost 10,000 Chinese social media accounts that it found to be in violation of the law. The account holders were accused of posting online content that the CAC deemed to be vulgar, sensational or politically harmful.
Accounts were eradicated for a variety of violations.
More specifically, thousands of Chinese social media accounts were erased for violations such as, “spreading politically harmful information, maliciously falsifying (Chinese Communist) party history, slandering heroes and defaming the nation’s image,” according to the CAC.
The accounts that were recently deleted allegedly shared false or pornographic content, celebrity gossip services and hard-hitting investigative journalism.
Social media firms were also blamed for the inappropriate content found on the Chinese social media accounts.
Officials from WeChat, Sina Weibo, and other major social media firms in China reportedly met with authorities as part of the CAC campaign purge and were warned that they were failing to do their part in preventing “all kinds of chaos” and “uncivilized growth” among independent media outlets via their platforms.
“The chaos among self-media accounts has seriously trampled on the dignity of the law and damaged the interests of the masses,” said a CAC spokesperson, reported Mobile Marketing.
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The term “self-media” is typically used to refer to independent accounts on Chinese social media that are not officially registered with the authorities. These independent accounts produce original content, most of which is news.
China has long controlled the flow of information online and has recently cracked down on its already rigid censorship rules. New laws are aimed at restricting media outlets, surveying media sites and deleting content that is considered to be unacceptable.
Online commentators complained that many of the accounts deleted in this latest purge wave were purposely targeted for being too critical of Chinese authorities.
“This is an era of accounts being obliterated,” stated a spokesperson from Chinese media group NGOCN. “It went from a single article being blocked, to the censorship of some prohibited speech…then today all of a sudden, we have no account.”
The strict rules on Chinese social media accounts is only one of the ways in which the nation censors and restricts its citizens. In September, QR Code Press reported on China using QR codes to violate human rights.