Promulgation Date: 2022-5-7 Title: Opinions on Strengthening Regulation of Online Livestreaming Tipping for the Protection of Minors Document Number: Expiration date: Promulgating Entities: Ministry of Culture and Tourism, State Administration of Radio and Television, State Internet Information Office, et al. Source of text: http://www.cac.gov.cn/2022-05/07/c_1653537626423773.htm
Opinions on Strengthening Protections for Minors in Online Livestreaming Tipping of the Central Civilization Office, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the State Administration of Radio and Television, and the State Internet Information Office
In recent years, new business models in online livestreaming have developed rapidly, playing an important role in developing the industry, enriching the cultural supply, and other areas. At the same time, problems such as platform entity's lacking responsibilities, the uneven quality of hosts, and the unregulated tipping have occurred frequently, causing minors to become addicted to livestreaming and participate in tipping, seriously harming minor's physical and psychological health, and causing many social problems. The following opinions are now issued on the basis of the PRC Cybersecurity Law, the PRC Law on the Protection of Minors, and other laws and regulations, in order to strengthen regulation of the online livestreaming industry and create a good environment for the healthy growth of minors.
I. General Requirements
Adhere to the guidance of the Core Socialist Values to focus on the protection of minors, remain problem-oriented in cracking down, cure causes and symptoms with comprehensive measures, and coordinate and cooperate for collective efforts. Through forceful regulation and rectification, entrench the responsibilities of all parties, establish long-term regulatory working mechanisms, truly regulate order in livestreaming, resolutely curb negative trends and disorder in the industry, promote the regular and orderly development of the livestreaming industry, and jointly build a civil and health online ecology.
II. Work Measures
- Minors are prohibited from participating in livestream tipping.. Website platforms shall persist in the principle of the best interests of minors, completing and improving mechanisms for the protection of minors, strictly implementing the requirements of the real-name system, and prohibiting the provision of tipping services such as adding funds, purchasing gifts, and online payments to minors. Where violations of the above requirements by website platforms are discovered, strictly and heavily employ measures such as a suspension of tipping functions or stopping livestreaming operations.
- Strictly control minors' engagement in hosting. Website platforms should strengthen the review and management of host account registration, and must not provide host services to minors under the age of 16; where hosting services are provided to minors aged 16-18, their guardians consent shall be obtained. Strengthen routine management of profit-seeking behavior using so-call "viral celebrity children", and where violating accounts are discovered, strictly employ measures to address them and pursue the responsibility of the relevant website platforms.
- Optimize and upgrade "Youth Modes". "Youth modes" are beneficial means made appropriate for viewing and use by minors through strict content selection. On the foundation of existing "youth modes", website platforms should further optimize product models and content presentation methods, continuing to enhance the supply of livestream content that is suitable for minors. Make the process for content review thresholds more strict, assigning dedicated review teams corresponding to the scale of operations, both selecting for excellence and rejecting the 3 vulgarities to relieve parents, satisfy children, and be publicly acclaimed. Optimize mode function configurations, presenting them on the front page in a conspicuous location to make it easier for youth to find and parents to oversee, and strictly prohibit the provision or indirect provision of all types of functions for 'star chasing' and adding money for tips.
- Establish dedicated service teams. Website platforms should establish dedicated service teams for minors, to give priority to accepting and promptly disposing of complaints and disputes related to minors. Where minors falsely use adult accounts to give tips, website platforms shall promptly verify it while protecting privacy, and must handle the return of funds as provided where it proves true. Strict measures are to be taken against website platforms that illegally provide minor users with tipping services as well as management agencies and online hosts who induce tipping from those they know to be minors.
- Regulate key functions and applications. Ranking lists and "gifts" are key functions and applications that induce minors to look on and interact. Website platforms should eliminate tipping rank lists within one month of the release of these Opinions; and it is prohibited to rank, direct traffic to, or recommend online hosts based solely on tip amounts or for users to conduct rankings based on tiping values. Strengthen regulation and design of 'gift' names and appearances; users must not be induced through exaggerated displays and vivid effects. Strengthen security assessments for new technologies and applications; functions or applications that use tipping values as the sole assessment standard must not be operated online.
- Strengthen the management of peak hours. 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM are the peak hours for minors going online each day, and are also an important time for regulating online livestreaming. During peak hours each day, website platforms must not allow individual accounts to participate in more than two "joint mic battles", must not set up battle defeat punishment segments, and must not provide technical means to bring about punishments for battle defeats, to avoid inducing or misleading minors. After 10:00 PM each day, website platforms should force each service in "youth modes" offline, and must not provide or indirectly provide methods for opening normal mode, to ensure sufficient rest time for minors.
- Strengthen online literacy education. Schools are encouraged to carry out online literacy education for minors, rotating around awareness of online morality and conduct norms, online conceptions of rule of law and conduct regulations, building capacity to use the internet, safety protections for persons and property, and other education for minors on cybersecurity awareness, civility and literacy, behavioral habits, and defensive skills. Lead the guardians of minors to study internet knowledge, and strengthen education, modeling, guidance, and oversight of minors' use of the internet. Support all aspects of society in jointly carrying out publicity and education, promoting minors' expanding their horizons, increasing their caliber, cultivating their tastes, and entertaining themselves.
III. Organization and Leadership
- Increase ideological awareness. Starting from the high level of asking 'what sort of person are we shaping for the future?", all relevant departments and platforms are to deeply recognize the extreme importance and urgency of regulating online livestreaming and strengthening protections for minors, and make this an important work project, considering actual conditions to refine and improve work measures to ensure that all tasks and requirements are implemented.
- Strengthen planning and coordination. Follow the principles of having those in charge be responsible, and having those who do the work be responsible, to build work structures for multiple sectors that cross departments, and to form a joint regulatory force that has effective planning, and smooth coordination, with all attending to their own duties and responsibilities. Persist in being problem-oriented, highlighting key segments, paying attention to means and methods, building a forceful system of protections for minors that covers the full process and all steps.
- Entrench the responsibilities of all parties. Guide website platforms to truly perform entity responsibility, earnestly implementing related policies and regulations, and completing system requirements such as for account registration, credential reviews, routine management, and handling violations. Urge management agencies to carry out activities such as the organizing, production, and sale of online livestreaming. Educate and guide online hosts to increase their awareness for compliance and overall caliber, actively produce and broadcast cultural content that conforms with the Core Socialist Values and reflects the new atmosphere of the new era.
- Carry out oversight and inspections. Establish an inter-departmental coordination mechanism, to strengthen communication, analysis, and research, and promote work implementation. Supervise the listing of important website platforms to ensure timeliness and quality in completing rectification. Focus on forming long-term working mechanisms, carrying out normalized oversight and inspection, and promptly researching new issues based on new situations and proposing resolution measures and methods.