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Opinions of the General Office of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Strengthening the Protection of Minors in the Online Cultural Market

Promulgation Date: 2021-11-29
Title: Opinions of the General Office of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Strengthening the Protection of Minors in the Online Cultural Market
Document Number:办市场发〔2021〕211号
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities: Office of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Source of text:

To all provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality Departments (Bureaus) for culture and tourism and the Bureau for culture, sports, radio, television, and tourism of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:

In recent years, online cultural markets such as for online performances, online music, online animation, online performances (programs), and online artworks have developed rapidly, creating positive social and economic benefits, enriching the cultural life of the masses, and boosting the development of the digital economy. At the same time, in the course of this development, negative phenomena and problems such as 'Elsagate' content [content using characters or surface imagery that appears suitable for minors, but containing images of torture, sexuality, etc.] and profiting from 'child internet celebrities' have existed on some online cultural platforms, have an incorrect impact on minor's values, and seriously harming their healthy growth. The following working opinions are formulated so as to implement the "Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Minors", to thoroughly advance the comprehensive management of the cultural and entertainment fields, to strengthen the protection of minors online, and to ensure the legitimate rights and interests of minors in cyberspace.

I. Strengthen ideological and political guidance

1. Strengthen ideological and political education. Establish and complete mechanisms for training and cultivating practitioners in the online cultural market, coordinate online and offline educational resources, improve curriculum set up, optimize teaching content, strengthen the study of the history of the party, new China, reform and opening history, and socialist development;, and guide practitioners to conscientiously practice the Core Socialist Values, firmly establishing the concept of protection of minors, actively increasing the social benefits of online cultural products, and striving to chaperone the healthy growth of minors.

2. Strengthen the education on the concept of rule of law. Implement the requirement of the responsibility system that 'all those who enforce the law should carry out education on the law', carrying out publicity on the protection of minors in the course of management and law enforcement for the online cultural market industry, using cases to explain and interpret the law, and using management practice and law enforcement cases to strengthen educational and warning efficacy, to truly strengthen online cultural market entities' awareness of legal compliance and lawful business operations.

3. Strengthen education on internet literacy. Guide online cultural market entities in strengthening publicity and education for minors and parents on internet literacy, enhancing minors' awareness and ability to use the internet rationally, civilly, safely, and reasonably. Oversee the performance of obligations to prevent internet addiction in minors by the providers of online cultural products and services, guiding mutual cooperation between related enterprises and industry organizations, and employing rational and reasonable methods to prevent and intervene in minors' internet addiction.

II. Consolidate the responsibilities of market entities

4. Effectively strengthen user identification. Oversee and urge online cultural market entities in increasing capacity for identifying minor users that are not real name verified, using methods such as analyzing users' watched content and behavioral characteristic analysis to strengthen the identification, guidance, and management of minor users. Require that online cultural service providers must not register accounts for livestream publishing for minors under the age of 16, and that in registering of accounts for minors who are at least 16 years old, they shall verify their identity information in accordance with law and obtain their guardians' consent.

5. Strictly protect personal information. Guide online cultural market entities to establish and complete mechanisms for the protection of minors' personal information, and increase the levels of institutionalization, standardization, and legalization of information protections. The handling of minors' personal information shall abide by the principles of legality, propriety, necessity, and creditworthiness, effectively implementing the requirements of the PRC Law on the Protection of Minors and the PRC Personal Information Protection Law regarding the handling, correction, and deletion of minors' information. After receiving notification about experiencing cyberbullying from minors or their parents and other guardians, necessary measures shall be promptly employed to stop the cyberbullying and prevent the spread of information.

6. Resolutely block harmful content. Oversee online cultural market entities in strengthening the establishment of online content, exploring standards for review and assessment of content that is inappropriate for minors, continuously increasing the capacity to identify content models that violate laws and regulations, increasing the professionalism and efficacy of manual reviews, and promptly and forcefully blocking and clearing out harmful content such as that involving cults, sex, illegal proselytization, dangerous conduct, and negative values. Broadcast rooms are prohibited from inducing minors to obtain harmful content by displaying suggestive information such as vulgar pictures, "welfare", [internet jargon for suggestive but not usually pornographic images] and "materials", or displaying private contact methods such as phone numbers, WeChat ID, and QR codes.

7. It is strictly forbidden to use "child internet celebrities” for profit. Stricly manage and control minors' participation in online performances, and strictly and lawfully punish livestream or short video accounts that have minors appear on camera, either alone or with an adult, for longer than a set period of time that are found to be using the minor to accumulate fame or to seek benefits, and accounts that have minor models take indecent poses, make sexually suggestive actions, and so forth to draw traffic or promote products for benefits.

8. Effectively regulate "cash tips." Online cultural entities must not stir up income for online performances through means such as tip rankings and fake publicity, and must not use methods such as fake spending and tip seeding to induce spending by minors' accounts. Guide online cultural market entities to regulate minor's power to add money for tipping, promoting the establishment and optimization of mechanisms for identifying minors' use of adult accounts to add money for tipping, and expand the extent of the comprehensive analysis and collection of electronic evidence, to bring about quick handling and compensation.

9. Continue to optimize function settings. Guide online cultural market entities to establish “minor protection modes” in accordance with law, setting up protection mechanisms or minors using their services such as password locks, time locks, spending restrictions, behavior tracking, uninstallation and reinstallation inheritance (anti-bypass), and promptly preventing and blocking vulnerabilities such as pirating accounts, fraudulently using accounts, and account borrowing. Develop and use functions such as for 'independent authorization by guardians', to better support parents and platforms collaborative management and safeguarding of minors healthy use of the internet.

III. Increase the Force of Industry Regulation

10. Strive to standardize administrative approvals. Implement the requirements of the reform of “streamlining administration and improving services” and the newly revised Handbook for Approvals of Internet Cultural Business Units to further regulate approvals of business permits for online cultural units, and strengthen content reviews of imported online cultural products. Implement the Regulations on the Management of For-profit Performances and the Measures on the Management of Online Performance Management Establishments to regulate administrative approvals for online performance management establishments, further clarify the duties of online performance management establishments in areas such as management activities, arranging performance content, and drawing fans, and increase the operational capacity of managers and the quality of management services.

11. Research improvements in the regulatory systems. Strengthen investigative research into the online cultural market, giving play to the role of experts and scholars as 'external brainpower', paying close attention to the development and changes in the market and technology, promptly tracking and assessing the content of relevant products and services, monitoring industry movement and development trends, carrying out prospective research on the protection of minors in the online cultural market, and formulating factors, standards, and scales for identifying information that might impact minors' physical and psychological health to increase the effectiveness of identifying harmful content and improve relevant regulatory requirements.

12. Effectively clear channels for making reports. Give full play to the role of the National Reporting Platform for the Cultural Market, to strengthen the acceptance of reports in the cultural market. Guide online cultural market entities to strictly implement real-name verification, add "contains inappropriate content" feedback buttons for quick reporting, and further increase the traceability of content that violates laws and regulations. Encourage online cultural enterprises to set up external reward mechanisms for reporting, and open a special reporting portal related to the protection of minors.

13. Continue to strengthen inspections and law enforcement. Strengthen ex-ante and ongoing regulation of the online cultural market, strengthening guidance and oversight of online cultural enterprises' review of content, continuously carrying out online inspections and random spot checks. Strengthen law enforcement in the online cultural market, implementing the Notification of Efforts to Strengthen the Implementation of the PRC Law on the Protection of Minors in the Area of the Cultural Marketplace, to promptly investigate and handle cases, publicize example cases, and increase the transparency and credibility of law enforcement. Carry out unscheduled special actions on cleaning up and correcting negative information related to minors in the online cultural market, strengthening inspections, focusing regulation, and strictly investigating and addressing online cultural business units for which there are a larger number of reports,

14. Increase the degree of credit regulation. Continue to carry out the exposition and publicity on the "Provisions on the Credit Management in the Culture and Tourism Market". Designate eligible online cultural market entities and workers as untrustworthy entities in accordance with laws and regulations, and implement credit management. Make information on untrustworthiness a basis of consideration in administrative management and public services.

IV. Optimize the Establishment of Online Content

15. Enhance positive value guidance. Give play to the power of role models, strengthen publicity on positive examples, and on the foundation of resolutely addressing negative content such as showing off wealth and worshiping monkey, extravagant indulgence, spotlighting sorrow, and "distorted aesthetics", actively organize and plan a series of positive energy communication projects producing and promoting a wave exceptional products publicizing persons doing good and respecting models of heroes; and encourage platform enterprises to give more opportunities and traffic to online hosts and practitioners who actively promote positive energy, to guide minors to establish correct values.

16. Enrich the supply of high-quality content. Continue to expand the supply of exceptional content in the content pool for 'minor mode', building a content system that is age-appropriate and diverse, exploring cooperation with schools of higher learning, scientific research institutions, museums and cultural institutions, arts establishments, and so forth to create exceptional content suited to minors' age stage and satisfying minors' developmental needs, to enrich the spiritual life of minors. Take multiple measures to encourage and guide minor users' to consume online cultural content that has informational and exploratory value.

V. Guiding and Strengthening Industry Self-Discipline

17. Actively carry out ethics deliberations. Actively give play to the role of industry associations, drafting measures for the self-discipline management of workers in the online cultural market, strengthening the establishment of industry professional ethics committees by clarifying work procedures and actively carrying out ethics deliberations, and promptly conducting industry boycotts of industry enterprises and personnel that violate laws and ethics, or enable conduct that violates laws and ethics.

18. Regulate the management of online hosts. Guide relevant industry associations to establish cross-platform mechanisms for joint dispositions based on the Specifications for Warning Online hosts and Managing Comebacks, to employ warning measures against online hosts that publish audio or video content that seriously violates laws and regulations or goes against good public customs, and has a vile social impact, cutting off 'problem hosts' channels for broadcasting harmful information at the source.

Office of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism

November 29, 2021


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