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Business News/ Technology / News/  China's cyberspace regulator eradicates 1.4 million misinformation-related social media posts in extensive crackdown
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China's cyberspace regulator eradicates 1.4 million misinformation-related social media posts in extensive crackdown

In an ongoing effort to exert control over its cyberspace, China has undertaken a massive campaign since 2021, specifically targeting billions of social media accounts. The CAC disclosed that it had shut down 67,000 social media accounts and eliminated hundreds of thousands of posts.

Out of the total 67,000 accounts that were permanently shut down, nearly 8,000 were removed due to their involvement in disseminating fake news, rumors, and harmful content, as reported by the CAC.Premium
Out of the total 67,000 accounts that were permanently shut down, nearly 8,000 were removed due to their involvement in disseminating fake news, rumors, and harmful content, as reported by the CAC.

China's Cyberspace Administration (CAC) announced that 1.4 million social media posts have been removed after a two-month investigation into various issues, including misinformation, illegal profiteering, and impersonation of state officials. The CAC disclosed that it had shut down 67,000 social media accounts and eliminated hundreds of thousands of posts during the period from March 10 to May 22, as part of an extensive "rectification" initiative.

In an ongoing effort to exert control over its cyberspace, China has undertaken a massive campaign since 2021, specifically targeting billions of social media accounts. The most recent crackdown focused on "self media" accounts, which encompass non-governmental or non-state-approved entities that disseminate news and information.

Popular Chinese social media platforms such as WeChat, Douyin, and Weibo were the primary targets of this endeavor. The objective behind these measures is to sanitize the online environment and facilitate enhanced regulatory oversight.

Beijing frequently detains individuals and employs censorship measures to target social media accounts that share factual information deemed sensitive or critical towards the Communist Party, the government, or the military, particularly when such content gains significant popularity.

Out of the total 67,000 accounts that were permanently shut down, nearly 8,000 were removed due to their involvement in disseminating "fake news, rumors, and harmful content," as reported by the CAC.

Additionally, approximately 930,000 other accounts faced milder consequences, ranging from losing their entire follower base to experiencing temporary suspensions or complete termination of profit-generating privileges.

As part of an independent initiative, the regulator has taken action to close down more than 100,000 accounts that were accused of misrepresenting news anchors and media organizations in order to combat the surge of AI-enabled fake news coverage on online platforms.

In its recent operation, the CAC stated that it focused on nearly 13,000 fraudulent military accounts, including those with names like "Chinese Red Army Command," "Chinese Anti-terrorist Force," and "Strategic Missile Force."

Furthermore, approximately 25,000 other accounts came under scrutiny for impersonating public institutions such as disease and prevention control centers as well as state-run research institutes. The aim of this campaign was to curb the proliferation of such deceptive accounts across digital platforms.

A significant number of individuals faced consequences for various violations according to the cyberspace regulator. Around 187,000 individuals were penalized for impersonating news media entities, while over 430,000 were accused of offering professional advice or educational services without possessing the necessary qualifications.

Additionally, approximately 45,000 accounts were shut down for engaging in activities such as sensationalizing trending topics, pursuing popularity, and engaging in illicit monetization.

The regulator expressed its proactive collaboration with public security, market supervision, and other relevant authorities to deliver a substantial blow to rectify unlawful "self-media" practices.

Furthermore, it urged the majority of internet users to actively participate in monitoring and reporting instances of illegal "self-media," encouraging them to provide leads and collectively uphold a clean online environment.

 

 

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Published: 28 May 2023, 11:26 AM IST
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