Provisions on the Governance of the Online Ecosystem (Draft for Solicitation of Comments)

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【Source】http://www.cac.gov.cn/2019-09/10/c_1124982341.htm

Chapter I: General Provisions

Article 1: These Provisions are formulated on the basis of the "Cybersecurity Law of the P.R.C." , the "Measures on the Administration of Internet Information Services" and the“State Council's Notification of Authorization of the State Internet Information Office to be Responsible for Efforts to Manage Internet Content", so as to strengthen governance of the online ecosystem, preserve good order online, protect the lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal persons, and other organizations, and build a clear and pleasant cyberspace environment.

Article 2: These Provisions apply to governance of the online ecosystem within the [mainland] territory of the People's Republic of China. Where the laws or administrative regulations otherwise provide, obey those provisions.

"Governance of the online ecosystem' as used in these provisions refers to entities such as government, enterprises, society, and netizens carrying out activities such as promoting positive energy and addressing illegal and negative information, with online information content as the main target for governance, and creating a civil and healthy, positive ecosystem as their goal.

Article 3: The National internet information department is responsible for the overall coordination governing the online ecosystem and related oversight and management work. The state news and publication departments and the State Council's departments in charge of education, communications, public security, culture, market regulation and administration, radio and television, and so forth, are to do a good job of efforts on governance of the online ecosystem based on their own duties.

Based on their duties, all levels of local internet information departments are responsible for overall coordination of governing the online ecosystem and related oversight and management work within that administrative region All levels of local news and publication departments and departments in charge of education, communications, public security, culture, market regulation and administration, radio and television, and so forth, are to do a good job of efforts on governance of the online ecosystem within that administrative region based on their own duties.

Chapter II: Online Information Content Producers

Article 4: Online information content producers shall obey the laws and regulations, abide by public order and good customs, and strengthen the establishment of online civility.

Article 5: Production of information containing the following content is to be encouraged:

(1) Content publicizing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; and complete, correct, and vivid exposition of the path, theory, system, and culture of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.

(2) Content publicizing the Party's theoretical path, directives and policies, and major decisions and deployments of the Party Central Committee;

(3) Content presenting highlights in economic and social development, reflecting the people's great struggle and fervent lives;

(4) Content promoting the Core Socialist Values, publicizing exceptional moral culture and zeitgeist, fully presenting the uplifting spirit of the Chinese people;

(5) Effective responses to social concerns, resolving doubts and clearly analyzing, helping to guide the public in forming agreement;

(6) Content that helps increase the international influence of Chinese culture, presenting the world with the true, three-dimensional, and complete China;

(7) Other positive content that praises truth, goodness, and beauty, and promotes unity and stability.

Article 6: Production of illegal information containing the following content is prohibited:

(1) Content contrary to the basic principles set forth in the Constitution;

(2) content endangering national security, divulging State secrets, subverting the national regime, and destroying national unity;

(3) content harming the nation's honor and interests;

(4) content distorting, smearing, desecrating, or denying the deeds and spirit of heroes and martyrs;

(5) content promoting terrorism or extremism, inciting ethnic hatred or ethnic discrimination, or destroying ethnic unity;

(6) content undermining the nation's policy on religions, promoting cults and superstitions;

(7) Dissemination of false information, disrupting economic or social order;

(8) content disseminating obscenity, eroticism, gambling, violence, murder, terror or instigating crime;

(9) content insulting or defaming others, infringing other persons’ honor, privacy, or other lawful rights and interests;

(10) other content prohibited by laws or administrative regulations.

Article 7: Negative information containing the following content must not be produced:

(1) content that has sexual innuendo, or is sexual suggestive, or seductive;

(2) content such as gore or horror that causes physical or psychological discomfort;

(3) content that promotes life styles such as flaunting material wealth or decadent luxury;

(4) content that excessively stirs up celebrity affairs and entertainment gossip;

(5) content using coarse language, displaying crass behavior, or promoting vulgarity;

(6) Content mocking natural disasters, major accidents, or other disasters;

(7) content inciting discrimination against groups or regions;

(8) content using exaggerated titles, or titles that don't fit the content;

(9) content creating a negative impact on minors' physical or psychological health;

(10) Other content that harms public morals or otherwise undermines the online ecosystem.

Chapter III: Online Information Content Service Platforms

Article 8: Online information content service platforms shall truly implement entity responsibility for governance of the online ecosystem, strengthening efforts to govern the platforms' ecosystems, and actively fostering a wholesome online culture.

Article 9: Online information content service platforms shall establish mechanisms for governance of the online ecosystem, establishing systems for reviewing publication of information, reviewing posted comments, management of page ecosystems, real-time inspections, emergency response, addressing online rumors, handling leads on unlawful online business, and so forth. Online information content service platforms shall establish persons responsible for governance of the online ecosystem, allot staff corresponding to their service model, and strengthen education and training.

Article 10: Online information content service platforms shall strengthen management of information published by users, and upon discovering information that the law or administrative regulations prohibits the publication or transmission of, they shall immediately stop transmission of that information, employ handling measures such as deleting it, to prevent the information from spreading, save relevant records, and report it to the relevant competent departments.

Online information content service platforms shall cooperate with network information departments and relevant departments lawful implementation of supervision and inspections.

Article 11: Online information content service platforms are prohibited from reproducing, releasing, or transmitting the information provided for in article 6 of these Provisions.

Article 12: Online information content service platforms must not reproduce, release, or transmit the information provided for in article 7 of these Provisions.

Article 13: Online information content service platforms shall strengthen management of links such as the recommendation or presentation of information by methods such as manual editing or machine algorithm, to create a positive and healthy board (page) ecosystem. This includes, but is not limited to, the following key steps (service types, position blocks) :

(1) Internet news information services' home page (screen), pop-up windows, and important news information content pages, etc.

(2) Internet user public account information services' lists of article titles, cover pictures, selections, hot topics, top searches, etc.;

(3) microblog information services' top recommendations and list types, and information service blocks based on geographic location, etc.;

(4) Internet information search services' top search terms, top search images, default search elements, etc.;

(5) Internet forum community services' home pages, list types, etc.;

(6) Internet Audio-visual services' home pages (screens), discover, selections, list types, covers, pop-up windows, etc.

(7) Online literature (cartoon) services' home pages (screens), selections, list types, covers, etc.;

(8) Online game services scenery, characters, tools, public chat rooms, etc.;

(9) Life services platforms' home pages (screens), top recommendations, etc.;

(10) E-commerce platforms home pages (screens), recommendation areas, product list covers, etc.;

(11) The home screen, recommendation area, pop-up windows etc, for pre-installed software applications on mobile smart terminals;

(12) Online information content services aimed at minors;

Article 14: Online information content service platforms are encouraged to implement models appropriate for use by minors.

When online information content service platforms provide online games, online literature, online cartoons, online livestreams, online audio-video, and other types of services, they shall employ appropriate measures to prevent minors from encountering unlawful and negative information.

Article 15: Where online information content service platforms use personalization algorithms to deliver information, they shall establish a model for recommendations that embodies the orientation of mainstream values, establish and complete mechanisms for manual intervention, and establish mechanisms for users to make their own selections.

Article 16: Online information content service platforms shall strengthen review and monitoring of the content and placement of advertisements delivered or displayed on the platform, and shall stop any illegal advertisements that are published.

Article 17: Online information content service platforms shall improve user service agreements, clarifying users rights and obligations, and shall perform management duties in accordance with laws and agreements.

Online information content service platforms shall establish credit archives for user accounts, providing services corresponding to user account credit levels.

Article 18: Online information content service platforms shall conspicuously place complaint and report portals on home pages, account pages, and information content pages, publishing the means for making complaints or reports, refining categories for reporting of illegal and negative content in the online ecosystem, and promptly accepting and addressing complains and reports from the public and giving feedback on the outcome of their disposition.

Article 19: Online information content service platforms shall compile an annual report on efforts to govern the online ecosystem, including the state of efforts to govern the online ecosystem, of responsible personnel performance of their duties, public appraisal, and other such content.

Chapter IV: Online Information Content Service Users

Article 20: Online information content service users are encouraged to actively participate in governance of the online ecosystems, strengthening oversight of illegal and negative information online through making complaints and reports, to establish a positive website environment together.

Online information content service users shall use the networks civilly and healthily, shall follow the requirements of laws and regulations and the provisions of user agreements, and truly perform related obligations; and shall actively promote positive energy when participating in online activity such as posting, responding, leaving messages, or sending bullet messages; they must not reproduce, release, or transmit illegal information, and are to conscientiously resist negative information.

Article 21: The founders and managers of online groups and forum community boards shall perform group and board management responsibilities, to regulate the groups or boards' conduct such as information publication.

Article 22: Online information content service users must not use networks and related information technology to carry out online torts and online violent conduct such as insulting, defaming, or threatening, as well as maliciously disclosing others private information, spreading rumors, doxing [human flesh search engine - mobilizing people online to identify someone], violating the rights of other organizations in their name, reputation, and property, and other lawful rights and interests.

Article 23: Online information content service users must not use tactics that interfere with the presentation of information, such as releasing or deleting information, to seek improper benefits.

Article 24: Online information content service users must not use new technological applications such as deep learning or virtual reality to engage in activities prohibited by laws and administrative regulations.

Article 25: Online information content service users must not use either manual or technological means to falsify or hijack traffic, as well as register fake accounts, buy and sell batches of accounts, or controlling user accounts, undermining the order of the online ecosystem.

Article 26: Online information content service users must not use the Party emblem, national flag, national emblem, or other images and symbols that represent the Party and State, or use the names of Party and State leaders or major state activities and major anniversaries, to carry out online commercial activity in violation of laws and regulations.

Chapter V: Network Industry Organizations

Article 27: Industry organizations are encouraged to conduct industry self-discipline, establishing and completing industry norms on governance of the online ecosystem, guiding and urging member units and practitioners to provide online information content services in accordance with law.

Article 28: Industry organizations are encouraged to carry out education and training, publicity and guidance on governance of the online ecosystem, increasing the capacity of member units and practitioners to govern the online ecosystem, and strengthening the entire public's awareness of joint governance.

Article 29: Industry organizations are encouraged to establish appraisal reward and punishment mechanisms, support member units in carrying out governance of the online ecosystem and expand the force of incentives and punishments for member units.

Chapter VI: Oversight and Management

Article 30: All levels of local internet information department, together with relevant departments, shall truly carry out management responsibilities in their area, doing a good job of efforts to govern the online ecosystem in their administrative region.

Article 31: All levels of local internet information department are to establish appraisal mechanisms in which all aspects of society jointly participate, periodically conducting assessments of that administrative region's governance of the Online information content service platform ecosystem.

Article 32: All levels of local internet information department, together with relevant departments, are to establish and complete mechanisms for information sharing, consultation and reporting, joint law enforcement, case oversight, and other work; and coordinate efforts to govern the online ecosystem.

Article 33: All levels of local internet information department are to perform oversight and inspections of online information content service platforms' implementation of entity responsibility for governance of the online ecosystem; carry out special oversight projects on platforms with prominent issues; and promptly disclose inspections and disposition outcomes to the public.

Article 34: All levels of local internet information department are to establish mechanisms for managing ledgers of Online information content service platforms' conduct in violation of laws and regulations, and making appropriate dispositions based on the ledgers, in accordance with laws and regulations.

Chapter VII: Legal Responsibility

Article 35: Where online information content producers violate article 6 of these Provisions, online information content service platforms shall employ measures in accordance with laws and agreements such as giving warnings to make corrections, limiting functions, suspending updates, or closing accounts; promptly eliminate illegal information content, keep records, and report to the relevant competent departments. Relevant competent departments are to employ corresponding measures in accordance with law.

Where online information content service platforms violate the provisions of paragraph 1 of article 10, or article 11, of these Provisions, the internet information departments and other relevant departments are to give warnings and confiscate unlawful gains; where corrections are refused or circumstances are serious, fines between RMB 100,000 and 500,000 are to be given, and a temporary suspension of operations, a suspension of business for corrections, closing down of websites, or cancellation of relevant operations permits may be ordered; directly responsible managers and other directly responsible personnel are to be fined between RMB 10,000 and 100,000.

Where article 6 of these Provisions is violated, constituting a violation of public security management, public security administrative sanctions are given in accordance with law; where a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with law.

Article 36: Where online information content producers violate article 7 of these Provisions, online information content service platforms shall employ measures to address it in accordance with laws and agreements such as giving warning to make corrections, limiting functions, or suspending updates, and shall store records and report to the relevant competent departments. Relevant competent departments are to employ corresponding measures in accordance with law.

Where online information content service platforms violate article 12 of these provisions, based on their duties, the internet information departments or other relevant competent departments are to use management measures such as giving a talking to or ordering corrections within a set period of time. Where they refuse to make corrections or the circumstances are serious, lawfully give warnings or fines, order that operations be suspended for rectification, or even revoke permits; where a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with law.

Article 37: Where online information content service platforms violate article 16 of these provisions the relevant competent departments are to handle it in accordance with relevant laws and administrative regulations.

Article 38: Where online information content service platforms violate article 9, paragraph 2 of article 10, article 13, article 15, or articles 17-19 of these provisions, based on their duties, the internet information departments or other relevant competent departments are to use management measures such as giving a talking to or ordering corrections within a set period of time. Where they refuse to make corrections or the circumstances are serious, lawfully give warnings or fines, order that operations be suspended for rectification, or even revoke permits; where a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with law.

Article 39: Where articles 21-26 of these Provisions are violated, punishment is to be given in accordance with relevant laws and administrative regulations.

Article 40: On the basis of relevant laws and regulations, internet information departments, in conjunction with relevant departments, are to establish and complete mechanisms for joint disciplinary action against online information service producers with serious violations and untrustworthiness; carrying out restrictions on engagement in online information services, restrictions in online conduct, industry entry restrictions, and other punishment measures in accordance with laws and regulations against Online information content service platforms, online information content producers, and online information content users that seriously violate these Provisions.

Chapter VIII: Supplementary Provisions

Article 41: 'Online information content producers' as used in these Provisions refers to organizations or individuals that produce online information content.

'Online information content service platforms' as used in these Provisions refers to online information service providers providing services such as reproduction, publication, or transmission of information content.

"Online information content users" as used in these Provisions refers to organizations or individuals that use online internet content services.

Article 42: Based on these Provisions, Online information content service platforms shall draft specific standards and detailed implementation rules for that platform's efforts to govern the online ecosystem.

Local internet information departments may summarize local conditions and draft specific implementation rules.

Article 43: These Provisions take effect on ___,___ 2019.

 

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