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Provisions on the Management of Internet Post Comments Services

Promulgation Date: 2022-11-16
Title: Provisions on the Management of Internet Post Comments Services
Document Number:
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities: Cybersecurity Administration
Source of text:
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Article 1: These Provisions are formulated on the basis of the Cybersecurity Law of the P.R.C., the Provisions on the Governance of the Online Ecosystem, the Provisions on the Management of Internet Account Information, and other relevant laws and regulations so as to regulate the management of internet post comment services, preserve national security and the public interest, and protect the lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal persons, and other organizations.

Article 2: Those who provide or use Internet post comment services within the mainland territory of the People's Republic of China shall abide by these Measures.

"Post comment services" as referred to in these Provisions, refers to services provided by Internet websites, applications, and other website platforms of a public opinion nature or with the capacity to mobilize the public, for users to express text, code, emojis, pictures, audio, video, or other information through methods such as commenting, responding, leaving messages, realtime streaming comments, "liking", and so forth.

Article 3: The state Internet Information department is responsible for oversight, management, and law enforcement efforts for post comment services nationwide. Local internet information departments are responsible for oversight, management, and law enforcement efforts for post comment services within the corresponding administrative region and on the basis of their duties.

Article 4: Post comment service providers shall strictly implement primary responsibility for the management of post comment services, performing the following obligations in accordance with law:

(1) Carrying out verification of registered accounts through means such as mobile phone numbers, ID numbers, or uniform social credit codes in accordance with the principle of having 'real names behind the scenes, but whatever you wish up front", and comment services must not be provided to accounts for which identification has not been verified or that are falsely usurping the identity information of organizations or other persons.

(2) Establish and complete systems for the protection of users' personal information: the handling of users' personal information shall comply with the principles of legality, propriety, necessity, and creditworthiness; disclose rules for handling personal information: giving notice of the goals and methods of handling personal information, the types of personal information to be handled, the period for retention, and other such matters; and obtain the consent of the individuals in accordance with law. Except as otherwise specified by laws and administrative regulations.

(3) Where post comment services are provided for news information, a system of prior review before publication shall be established.

(4) Where 'realtime comment stream' services are provided, corresponding static information content shall also be concurrently provided on the same platform or page.

(5) establish and complete information security systems for the review and management, real time inspection, emergency response, and the acceptance of reports for post comments, and promptly discover and address unlawful and negative information, and report it to the internet information departments.

(6) Innovate methods of management for post comments, research and develop techniques for the management of information security for post comments, to increase capacity for addressing illegal and negative information; promptly discover risks such as security deficits or leaks in post comment services, employ remedial measures, and report them to the internet information departments.

(7) Appoint a review and editorial team corresponding to the scale of services and strengthen training for comment review, to increase the professional caliber of review and editorial staff.

(8) Cooperate with supervision and inspection efforts conducted by the internet information departments, and provide necessary technological data support and assistance.

Article 5: Where post comment service providers that have public opinion properties or the capacity for social mobilization put new post comment products, applications, or functions online, they shall carry out security assessments in accordance with relevant state provisions.

Article 6: Post comment service providers shall sign an agreement with registered users, clarifying details of post comment services and management and rights and obligations of both parties such as publication authority and management responsibilities, perform obligations to give notice as provided by internet laws and regulations, and carry out education on online civility. Service agreements for public account producer-operators shall indicate their authority and the corresponding responsibility to manage comments, to urge them to fulfill management obligations.

Article 7: Post comment service providers shall regulate and manage post comment service users and public account producer-operators in accordance with the user agreements. Measures including warnings, refusing publication, deleting information, restricting account functions, suspending account updates, closing accounts, and prohibiting new registrations, shall be employed in accordance with laws and agreements to address post comment service users that publish illegal and negative information, and related records are to be stored; and where public account producer-operators' failure to fulfill their management obligations leads to illegal and negative information content appearing in the comment sections, then based on the specific circumstances, measures shall be employed in accordance with laws and agreements to address them, including warnings, deleting of information, temporary suspension -or lifetime closure- of comment area functions, restriction of account functions, suspension of account updates, closing accounts, and prohibiting new registration, and records are to be stored and a report promptly made to the internet information departments.

Article 8: Post comment service providers shall establish stratified user management systems, carrying out credit assessments of users' conduct in commenting on posts, and designate the scope of services and functionality on the basis of credit levels; entering the seriously untrustworthy onto a blacklist, stopping the provision of services to those entered onto the black list, and prohibiting them from using methods such as newly registering accounts to use post comment services.

Article 9: Post comment service users shall obey laws and regulations, comply with public order and good custom, and carry forward the Core Socialist Values; they must not publish information content that is prohibited by laws, regulations, or relevant State provisions.

Article 10: Public account producer-operators shall promptly discover illegal and negative information content in the post comment section, and employ necessary measures such as reporting and addressing it.

Article 11: Public account producer-operators may apply to the post comment service providers to receive authority for self-management such as to receive reports, delete illegal or negative comment information, and shut down accounts' comment functions; and the post comment service providers shall provide related technical support. After conducting credit appraisals of public account producer-operators' management of post comments, post comment service providers shall reasonably set up their management authority on the basis of the entity type of the public account and its credit assessment level, and provide related technical support.

Article 12: Post comment service providers and users, as well as public account producer-operators, must not violate the lawful rights and interests of others or the public interest, seek unlawful benefits, maliciously disrupt order in post comments, or mislead public opinion through the use of tactics that interfere with the presentation of comment information such as publishing, deleting, or recommending post comment information, or by using software, or hiring commercial establishments or individuals to disseminate information.

Article 13: Post comment service providers shall establish and complete systems for public complaints and reports on illegal and negative information in post comments and an appeals system for post comment service users, setting up fast and convenient portals for complaints and reports, and promptly accepting and handling complaints, reports, and appeals related to post comments.

Where post comment service users have objections to the handling of post comment information, they have the right to make a collateral appeal to the post comment service provider, who shall conduct an investigation and address it in accordance with user service agreements.

Where any organization or individual discovers conduct violating these Provisions, they may make a complaint or report to the internet information departments. After the internet information departments receive complaints or reports, they shall handle them promptly and in accordance with law.

Article 14: All levels of internet information department shall establish and complete oversight and management systems that integrate routine inspections and periodic inspections, and conduct oversight inspections of internet post comment services in accordance with law.

Article 15: The state and local internet information departments are to address violations of these Provisions in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

Article 16: These Provisions take effect on December 15, 2022. The Provisions on The Management of Internet Post Comment Services published on August 25, 2017, are simultaneously repealed.

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  1. Joel Joel 2023/06/22

    This article on China’s new comments section regulations is quite informative. It’s interesting to see the government’s perspective on controlling online discussions and ensuring that platforms take responsibility for their users’ comments. I can see how it aims to promote a healthier online environment, but at the same time, it raises concerns about potential censorship. It would be great to hear different perspectives on this issue.

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