Will someone not think of the children? Chinese cyberspace administrator takes action, orders massive cleanup to make internet safe for minors • The Register
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) today announced a “Summer Youth Network Environment Improvement” – a massive cleanup of the Chinese Internet to make it safe for 16-year-olds and less.
The announcement of the crackdown means more strife for China’s web giants, as the last of the seven actions demanded by the administration is the implementation of a better mode for children.
The ordinance qualifies the current methods and systems of anti-addiction for children as “insufficiently effective” because they have gaps and are not visible. The platforms are also criticized for not offering enough age-appropriate content for Chinese children.
The other six categories of content that the CAC wants to eliminate from the net are:
- Children broadcast live, especially if they are doing commercials or displaying their wealth;
- Online courses that feature smut or bloody violence, especially if they also promote “vulgar” content or have comment facilities that turn toxic;
- Animated videos featuring crime, bloody violence or other negative stereotypes that children can imitate;
- Forums that encourage racy talk, allow sexting or allow discussion of suicide;
- Overzealous fan culture, especially if it becomes toxic or encourages conspicuous consumption;
- Sites that allow or encourage bullying or trolling.
The ACC announcement says it recently banned dirty emoticons and called on Tencent QQ, Taobao and Sina Weibo – among others – to review their rectification efforts. Those who failed were fined.
The final clean-up will be strictly enforced and supported by increased penalties.
But China has a carrot as well as a stick: The CAC has encouraged local web operators to create a healthy and civilized online space that leaves Chinese youth less likely to have mental health issues.
The child-friendly cleaning order is one of many recent crackdowns by the CAC, which recently called on Chinese web companies to pay more attention to data, blasted Bing and LinkedIn for their data collection practices, and asked daring online video channels to dress their presenters decently. – again in the name of ensuring that young people can become good young socialists. ®