Opinions on Further Intensifying Website Platforms' Entity Responsibility for Information Content

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Promulgation Date: 2021-9-15
Title: 关于进一步压实网站平台信息内容管理主体责任的意见
Document Number:
Promulgating Entities:State Internet Information Office
Source of text: http://www.cac.gov.cn/2021-09/15/c_1633296790051342.htm

 

With the rapid development of information technology, the Internet has become an important path for people's learning information, acquiring knowledge, entertainment, and communication, and an important medium for providing social and public services and facilitating people's production and lives. Website platforms have increasingly become an important channel for the production and dissemination of information content, both social and public in nature, and have an irreplaceable position and role in upholding the correct value orientation, safeguarding online content security, and preserving netizens' lawful rights and interests. Promoting the healthy and orderly operation of website platforms is increasingly important and urgent.

In recent years, network information systems have thoroughly implemented and put in place the Party Central Committee‘s decisions and arrangements, and made great progress in upholding the management and handling of networks in accordance with the law, in particular, website platforms have actively performed primary responsibility for managing information content, and played a major role in safeguarding information security, regulating the order of dissemination, and preserving a positive ecology. At the same time, we should also see that there are still problems such as that website platforms still lack a full understanding of responsibility, have an imprecise role and position, and do not fully perform responsibilities, that systemic mechanisms are imperfect, and that management and operations are not standardized, causing to a certain extent for illegal and negative information to be accepted despite prohibitions, and occasional problems in the online ecosystem. In order to further intensify website platform's entity responsibility for managing information content and give full play to the role of website platforms in bearing primary responsibility for information content management, to truly increase the level of network management and governance, the following Opinions are hereby issued:

I. Guiding Ideology

With the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, especially General Secretary Xi Jinping's important thinking on powerful nations online, comprehensively implement the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and its 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th plenary sessions, and implement a new concept of development and build a new model of development rooted in the new stage of development; persisting in having people as the center and preserving national interests to plan regulation and development with the goal of healthy and orderly development of the internet industry and a focus on promoting self-regulation and management by website platforms, rotating around the main line of website platforms' entity responsibility for managing information content, guiding and promoting website platforms' correct understanding of responsibility, clarifying work specifications, completing management systems, improving operational rules, to truly prevent and resolve all types of risks and threats, and actively build a positive space online.

II. Main Principles

Persist in political leadership. Persist in the Party's management of the Internet, firmly establishing 'the four awarenesses', upholding 'the four self-confidences', and achieving the 'two preservations', to truly make political standards and requirements permeate the entire process and each step of internet management, ensuring that website platforms adhere to the correct political direction, public opinion orientation, and value trends throughout.

Persist in being problem oriented. Focus on all types of online disorder, striving to solve prominent problems in website platforms' performance of information content management responsibilities, such as different understandings, irregular management, insufficient capacity, and inefficacy, in guiding and urging website platforms to fix weak links, fortify deficiencies, and raise levels.

Persist in guidance by type. Fully manifest the rules of different internet fields to correctly understand the characteristics of different products' functions and determine key duties for different fields, key tasks for different platforms, and work standards for different stages, promoting standardized management and effective fulfillment of responsibilities by website platforms.

Persist in strengthening regulation. Strengthen governance at the source and rules governance, emphasizing risk and conduct management to enhance the institutionalization and precision of regulation. Take hold of key points and the crux to strengthen routine management of leading website platforms. Spur standardization through management, and spark momentum for website platforms' full performance of their responsibilities.

III. Key Tasks

(1) Understand the meaning of entity responsibility. With carrying forward the Core Socialist Values as their duty, website platforms should cultivate an online culture that is affirmatively healthy and uplifting, ensuring that the main themes online are sophisticated and that positive energy is abundant; taking responsibility for the presentation of information content, strictly preventing the production and dissemination of illegal information, conscientiously preventing and rejecting the dissemination of negative information, and ensuring the security of information content. Establish good order online covering the full chain and managing the full scope, regulating users' online conduct and containing all types of disorder online, to maintain a clean space online. Complete management systems and mechanisms to correctly delineate behavioral lines, truly standardize work processes, and strengthen internal management and restraints, so that there are rules to follow and the rules must be followed, and ensuring regular and healthy routine operations. Strengthen the protection of minors online, focusing on protecting users' rights and interests, and truly preserving the societal public interest.

(2) Improve rules for platform communities. Draft and improve community rules suited to the characteristics of website platforms to fully manifest the requirements of laws and regulations, the requirements of the Core Socialist Values, and the requirements of industry management. Clarify the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of website platforms in content operations; refine the measures, authority, and procedures for handling conduct violating rules; and clarify the principles and operational standards for handling it, to truly strengthen website platforms' restraint of their own conduct. Improve user codes of conduct, compiling lists and directories of illegal and negative information, establish user credit record and appraisal systems, enhancing the precision and efficacy of user management, and establishing and retaining records of handling users' conduct in violation of rules. Community rules are to be strictly implemented and there must not be selective application, differential treatment, or over-inclusive handling.

(3) Strengthen regulated account management. Drafted detailed implementation rules for regulated account management, strengthening management of account operations and effectively regulating account conduct. Strengthen the management of account registration, strictly implementing the requirements for registering real identity information, strengthen compliance review for account information such as names and profile pictures, strengthen verification of credentials for public accounts, and ensure that the names of public accounts correspond to the entity operating them. Strengthen the management of account conduct, strictly sorting them by type and grade to bring about precise management, management of key points, and dynamic management. Strengthen the management of accounts that need attention, establishing a directory, drafting management measures, and ensuring regulated order. Strengthen the force of handling accounts that violate laws and rules, establish a database of blacklisted accounts and strictly prevent the revival of those accounts. Fully clear out 'zombie accounts and 'shell accounts'.

(4) Complete mechanisms for content review. Strictly implement systems for the responsibility of editors in chief, clarifying their rights and responsibility to review information content, establishing working mechanisms for editors in chief to take hold of information content review in all products and the entire chain. Improve systems for manual review further expanding the scope of manual review, refining standards for review, improving review processes, and ensuring the quality of reviews. Establish mechanisms for dynamic updating a pool of examples of information that violates laws or rules, dividing them by level and type, and periodically elaborate on it, to increase the efficacy and quality of technical reviews. Complete review mechanisms for multinodal recall of key information, clarifying the scope, standards, and types of key information, and increasing the frequency and force of reviews of information in key sectors such as those related to national security, national welfare, the people's livelihoods. and the public interest, scientifically taking hold of content and ensuring information security.

(5) Increase the quality of information content. Adhere to the orientation of mainstream values, staying on the main path, spreading positive energy, carrying forward the advanced socialist culture, and put a spirited mental outlook on display. Improve support policies for the production of content, employing multiple methods of support such as through funds and traffic, and encourage and lead users to produce high-quality information content. Consider the actual situation for website platforms to increase the number and ratio of subscriptions to mainstream media information services, optimizing the production and supply of information content. Establish a system for rating information content, emphasizing the selection of exceptional 'personal media' accounts and MCN institutions, to enrich the sources of website platform information and ensure that information content is healthy and uplifting.

(6) Regulate the transmission of information content. Strengthen the management of the sources of news information, strictly implementing the laws and regulations on Internet news information services and prohibiting entities without permits from providing relevant services; when news information is reprinted, the title and new information content must not be distorted or altered, and it should be ensured that the source of the news can be traced. Optimize mechanisms for recommending information giving priority to pushing information content with exceptional quality, resolutely preventing and rejecting negative information, and strictly prohibiting the transmission of illegal information, to truly preserve the positive ecology of pages. Regulate the set up of topics, strictly prevent acts of malicious transmission such as stirring up hot topics, faking originality, coarseness and vulgarity, creating or spreading rumors, or aggregating negative information. Complete mechanisms for early warnings on public opinion, emphasizing attention to sentiment on sensitive hot topics, promptly discovering negative trends, and conducting scientific and effective guidance to prevent the public from being misled. Establish systems and regulations for manual intervention in information transmission, making operational standards strict, regulating operational processes, leaving a traceable record of the whole process for future reference, and promptly and proactively reporting major matters to the regulatory departments.

(7) Strengthen the management of key functions. Scientifically design and effectively manage functions with broad fields of application and high usage rates. Regulate the ranking of hot topics and complete rules for top content lists, reasonably determining the elements for building them and weighting them, to embody the correct value orientation. Optimize algorithmic recommendations, clarifying the focus of recommendations, refining recommendation standards, assessing the efficacy of recommendations, and carrying out algorithmic records as required. Strengthen the management of pop-up windows, accurately understand the stages of pushing, strictly control the frequency of pushing, and strengthen reviews of pushed content. Standardize search displays and improve rules for search operations, establishing an authoritative pool of information content and prioritizing the display of information from authoritative sources in key fields to ensure the objectivity and accuracy of search results. Strengthen management of group operations, clarifying the rights and obligations of the persons responsible for a group, setting up standards for the number of persons responsible for groups, and regulate the conduct of group users. Encourage public participation in reporting illegal and negative information, clearing channels for complaints and reports, completing and improving mechanisms for accepting and handling them, and for giving feedback.

(8) Persist in compliance management in accordance with law. Permitting procedures shall be fulfilled in accordance with law to engage in business such as Internet news information services, and related activities must not be carried out without a permit. In putting online new technological applications that possess media attributes and functions that can mobilize public options a security assessment is to be conducted as provided, and may only be formally put into operation after passing. The carrying out of cross-platform business activities such as data sharing or traffic cooperation shall comply with relevant state policies and be helpful to the transmission of information with positive energy. To persist in creditworthy operations there must not be selective self-preference, irregular blocking or pushing of interested stakeholders' information, or use of any form of inducement to click, download, or spend.

(9) Make online protection of minors stricter. Implement the requirements of laws and regulations on the protection of minors, consider the business model and actual conditions to draft specific plans for the protection of minors online clarifying the goals, refining the measures, and establishing long-term and effective mechanisms. Increase investment, develop and upgrade management systems such as for preventing minors' addiction and youth modes, continuously improve the extent of system identification, enhancing the accuracy of identification, reasonably setting the times and authority for minors to use services, provide high-quality content suitable for minors, and ensure the minors' healthy and scientific use of the networks. In the provision of products and services to minors, the content of services is to be clearly defined, the product ecology is to be governed with high standards, and the impact of negative information on minor's physical and psychological health is to be strictly prevented. Commercial speculation and profit-seeking using the name of minors is strictly prohibited.

(10) Strengthen the construction of personnel teams. Appoint employees corresponding to the scale of operations, increasing the number and proportion of content review personnel, and continuously optimizing arrangements to truly ensure the quality of information services. Make the management of all personnel at all phases more strict, such as employees' entry into the industry, performance evaluations, and registering departures; with news information service personnel holding credentials in accordance with law in order to take a position. Carry out targeted operational training, draft training plans, establish training files, and continue to improve employees' capacity and caliber. Strengthen the establishment of a creditworthiness system for employees, completing credit management mechanisms, expanding the force of punishment for violations of laws and regulations, strictly implement a blacklist management system for employees.

IV. Organizational Safeguards

(11) Strengthen organization and leadership. Each local internet information department should fully recognize the importance and urgency of tightening entity responsibility for website platforms' management of information content as an important of managing and governing the networks and keep a tight grip on it. Territorial management duties should be effectively fulfilled, clarifying responsibilities and the division of labor, organizing dedicate forces, carefully planning and deploying them, and carefully organizing implementation. Website platforms should increase ideological understanding, making the performance of entity responsibility a CEO project, including it in the enterprise agenda of important affairs, and clarifying timetables, task documentation, and roadmaps, to truly achieve success.

(12) Strenghten routine regulation. Strengthen basic management, accurately grasping the base number of local website platforms and establishing a ledger of website platforms fulfillment of entity responsibility. Clarify the key points of management, promptly grasping key changes in the work of website platforms. Proactively discover and resolve problems, giving full play to internet law enforcement functions and promoting website platforms' remedy of shortcomings in entity responsibility. Establish a regular conference system, reporting example cases, passing on management requirements, and spreading good methods from practice.

(13) Emphasize oversight and inspections. Each local internet information department should expand the force of oversight and inspection, conducting follow-up assessments of the efficacy of local website platforms' performance of entity responsibility, overseeing and inspecting website platforms' establishment of each system and mechanism, overseeing and inspecting the implementation and of website platform systems and mechanisms, and promptly correcting and handling any problems that exist. Website platforms should conduct self-inspections and corrections in the implementation of systems and mechanisms, should promptly punish conduct in violation of rules; each year, a report on the performance of entity responsibility should be made to local website platforms, and major matters involving the performance of entity responsibility should be promptly reported.

 

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