Provisions on the Governance of the Online Information Content Ecosystem

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Promulgation Date: 2019-12-15
Title: Provisions on the Governance of the Online Information Content Ecosystem
Document Number:国家互联网信息办公室令第5号
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities:State Internet Information Office
Source of text: http://media.people.com.cn/n1/2019/1220/c40606-31516139.html

 

Chapter I: General Provisions

Article 1: These Provisions are drafted on the basis of the "National Security Law of the P.R.C.", "P.R.C. Cybersecurity Law", "Measures on the Administration of Internet Information Services", and other such laws and administrative regulations, so as to create a positive online ecosystem, to ensure the lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal persons, and other organizations; and to preserve national security and the public interest.

Article 2: These Provisions apply to activities in the governance of the online information content ecosystem within the [mainland] territory of the People's Republic of China.

"Governance of the online information content ecosystem', as used in these provisions, refers to activities carried out by entities such as government, enterprises, society, and netizens, related to promoting positive energy and addressing illegal and negative information, and having cultivation and practice of the Core Socialist Values as their foundation, online information content as the main target for governance, and having the goals of building and completing a comprehensive online governance system, creating a clear and bright online space, and establishing a positive online ecosystem.

Article 3: The national department for internet Information is responsible for overall planning and coordination of the governance of the online information content ecosystem and related oversight and management efforts nationwide, and each relevant regulatory department is to complete efforts on the governance of the online information content ecosystem based on their respective duties.

Local internet information departments are responsible for the overall planning and coordination of the governance of the online information content ecosystem and related oversight and management efforts in the corresponding administrative region, and each relevant local regulatory department is to complete efforts on the governance of the online information content ecosystem within the corresponding administrative region, based on their respective 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 must not harm the national interest, public interest, or the lawful rights and interests of others.

Article 5: Online information content producers are encouraged to make, reproduce, and publish information containing the following content:

(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 content that teaches taste, style, and responsibility; that praises truth, goodness, and beauty; and that promotes unity and stability.

Article 6: Online information content producers must not make, reproduce, or publish illegal information that contains the following content:

(1) Content opposing 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, vilifying, defiling, or denying the deeds and spirit of heroes and martyrs; or harming the names, images, reputations, and honor of heroes and martyrs through insult, defamation, or other such means;

(5) Content advocating terrorism or extremism, or inciting the commission of terrorist or extremist activities;

(6) Content inciting ethnic hatred or ethnic discrimination, or undermining ethnic unity;

(7) Content undermining the nation's policy on religions, or promoting cults and superstitions;

(8) Dissemination of rumors, disrupting economic or social order;

(9) Disseminating obscenity, sex, gambling, violence, murder, terror, or instigating crime;

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

(11) Other content prohibited by laws or administrative regulations.

Article 7: Online Information Content Producers shall employ measures to prevent and resist the making, reproduction, or publication of negative information containing the following content:

(1) Use of exaggerated titles, or titles that seriously do not fit the content;

(2) Sensationalizing gossip, scandals, misdeeds, etc.;

(3) Improper comments on natural disasters, major accidents, or other disasters;

(4) Content that has sexual innuendo, is sexually suggestive, or is readily associated with sex;

(5) Content such as gore or horror that causes physical or psychological discomfort;

(6) Content inciting discrimination against groups or regions;

(7) Content promoting coarse, crass, or vulgar content;

(8) Content that might lead minors to imitate unsafe behaviors or behavior that violates social mores, or that induces bad habits for minors, etc.;

(9) Other content with a negative impact on the online ecosystem.

Chapter III: Online Information Content Service Platforms

Article 8: Online information content service platforms shall carry out entity responsibility for information content management, strengthen the platforms' governance of the online information content ecosystem, and cultivate an online culture that is positive, healthy, and supportive.

Article 9: Online information content service platforms shall establish mechanisms for the governance of the online information content ecosystem, create detailed rules for governance of the online information content ecosystem on that platform, and establish systems such as for user registration, account management, information review for publication, review of comments for posting, management of the page and site layout ecosystem, real-time inspections, emergency response, and the handling of online rumors, and links to 'black' [off the books or illegal] industries and information.

Online information content service platforms shall set up a person responsible for the governance of the online information content ecosystem, assigning specialized personnel corresponding to the scope of operations and the service model, and strengthening training and evaluations, to increase the caliber of employees in this area.

Article 10: Online information content service platforms must not transmit the information provided for in article 6 of these Provisions and shall prevent and resist the transmission of the information provided for in article 7 of these Provisions.

Online information content service platforms shall strengthen the management of information content, and where information provided for in articles 6 or 7 of these Provisions is discovered, shall immediately employ measures to address it in accordance with law, storing relevant records, and report to the relevant regulatory departments.

Article 11: Online information content service platforms are encouraged to adhere to mainstream values orientation, optimize mechanisms for recommending information, strengthen the management of page and site layout ecosystems, and actively present information provided for in article 5 of these Provisions during the steps (including service models, location sections, etc.):

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

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

(3) Blogs and micro-blog information services' top recommendations and lists, pop-up windows, 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 screens, lists, etc.;

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

(7) Internet site navigation services, browser services, and input method services' home pages and home screens, lists, skins, associated words, pop-up windows, etc.;

(8) Digital readers', online games', and online cartoon services' home pages and home screens, selections, lists, pop-up windows, etc.;

(9) Lifestyle and knowledge service platforms' home pages or home screens, hot recommendations, or pop-up windows, etc.;

(10) e-commerce platforms' home pages or home screens, recommendation areas, etc.;

(11) The home screen, recommendations, etc., for mobile application stores and pre-installed software applications on mobile smart terminals;

(12) Online information content columns, areas, or products specifically aimed at minors;

(13) Other stand-out locations in products or services, and key areas that can easily attract online information content service users' attention.

Online information content service platforms must not present the information provided for in article 7 of these Provisions in the key areas provided for above.

Article 12: Where online information content service platforms use personalization algorithms to deliver information, they shall establish a model for recommendations that meets the requirements of articles 10 and 11 of these Provisions, establish and complete mechanisms for manual intervention, and establish mechanisms for users to make their own selections.

Article 13: Online information content service platforms are encouraged to implement models appropriate for use by minors, providing online products and services suited for minors, and facilitating minors' acquisition of information beneficial to their physical and psychological health.

Article 14: Online information content service platforms shall strengthen review and inspections of advertising locations set up on their platforms and the advertising content displayed on their platform, and where illegal advertisements are published, they shall be handled in accordance with law.

Article 15: Online information content service platforms shall draft and disclose management rules and platform agreements, improve user agreements, clarify users' rights and obligations, and perform management duties in accordance with laws and agreements.

Online information content service platforms shall establish credit management systems for user accounts, providing services corresponding to user account's credit situations.

Article 16: Online information content service platforms shall conspicuously place portals for complaints and reports, stating the means for making complaints or reports, and promptly accepting and addressing complains and reports from the public and giving feedback on the outcome of their disposition.

Article 17: Online information content service platforms shall compile an annual report on efforts to govern the online ecosystem; the annual reports shall include the state of efforts to govern the online ecosystem, of responsible personnel's' performance of their duties, public appraisal, and other such content.

Chapter IV: Online Information Content Service Users

Article 18: 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 interact civilly and express themselves rationally when participating in online activity such as posting, responding, leaving messages, or sending bullet messages; must not publish information provided for in article 6 of these Provisions, and are to prevent and reject information provided for in article 7 of these Provisions.

Article 19: 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 20: Online information content service users are encouraged to actively participate in the governance of the online information content ecosystem, conducting oversight of illegal and negative information online through making complaints and reports, to preserve a positive online ecology together.

Article 21: Online information content service users, online information content service producers, and online information content service platforms must not use networks and related information technology to carry out illegal conduct such as insulting, defaming, threatening, spreading rumors, or maliciously disclosing others' private information, harming the lawful rights and interests of others.

Article 22: Online information content service users, online information content service producers, and online information content service platforms must not harm the lawful rights and interests of others or seek illegal benefits, through means such as publishing or deleting information, or through other tactics that interfere with the presentation of information.

Article 23: Online information content service users, online information content service producers, and online information content service platforms must not use new technological applications such as deep learning or virtual reality to engage in activities prohibited by laws and administrative regulations.

Article 24: Online information content service users, online information content service producers, and online information content service platforms must not use either manual or technological means to falsify or hijack traffic, as well as register fake accounts, illegally buy and sell accounts, or control user accounts, undermining the order of the online ecosystem.

Article 25: Online information content service users, online information content service producers, and online information content service platforms must not use the Party flag, Party emblem, national flag, national emblem, national anthem, or other images, symbols, and content that represent the Party and State, or use major state activities and major anniversaries, or the names of state organs and their staffs, to carry out online commercial activity in violation of laws and regulations.

Chapter V: Network Industry Organizations

Article 26: Industry organizations are encouraged to give play to their roles in guiding services and being a bridge and tie; guiding member units to enhance their sense of responsibility, stay mainstream, carry forward positive energy, oppose illegal information, and prevent and reject negative information.

Article 27: Industry organizations are encouraged to establish and improve mechanisms for self-discipline, drafting industry specifications and self-discipline conventions for the governance of the online information content ecosystem, establishing detailed rules and standards for content review, guiding member units to establish and complete service norms, lawfully providing online information content services and accepting societal oversight.

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

Article 29: Industry organizations are encouraged to promote the establishment of an industry credit appraisal system, establishing peer-review and other assessment and reward mechanisms for the industry based on their charters, increasing the extent of incentives and punishments for member units and strengthening member units' awareness of being trustworthy.

Chapter VI: Oversight and Management

Article 30: All levels of internet information department, together with relevant regulatory departments, are to establish and complete mechanisms for information sharing, consultation and reporting, joint law enforcement, case oversight, information disclosures, and other work; and coordinate efforts to govern the online information content ecosystem.

Article 31: All levels of internet information department are to perform oversight and inspections of online information content service platforms' implementation of entity responsibility for information management; carry out special inspections of platforms with prominent issues.

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

Article 32: All levels of local internet information department are to establish systems for managing ledgers of online information content service platforms' conduct that violates laws and regulations, and make appropriate dispositions in accordance with laws and regulations.

Article 33: All levels of internet information departments are to establish appraisal mechanisms in which government, enterprises, society, and netizens jointly participate, periodically conducting assessments of that administrative region's governance of the online information content service platform ecosystem.

Chapter VII: Legal Liability

Article 34: 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 the relevant regulatory departments.

Article 35: Where Online information content service platforms violate article 10 or the second paragraph of article 31 of these Provisions, the competent departments such as for internet information are to punish it in accordance with their duties, the "Cybersecurity Law of the P.R.C.", the "Measures on the Administration of Internet Information Services" and other such laws and administrative regulations.

Article 36: Where online information content service platforms violate the second paragraph of article 11 of these Provisions, the internet information department at the districted-city level or above is to give them a talking to, a warning, or order that corrections be made in a certain time; and where corrections are refused or the circumstances are serious, order a temporary suspension of information updates and give punishments in accordance with relevant laws and administrative regulations.

Article 37: Where online information content service platforms violate articles 9, 12, 15, 16, or 17 of these Provisions, the internet information department at the districted-city level or above is to give them a talking to, a warning, or order that corrections be made in a certain time; and where corrections are refused or the circumstances are serious, order a temporary suspension of information updates and give punishments in accordance with relevant laws and administrative regulations.

Article 38: Where articles 14, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, or 25 of these Provisions are violated, the competent departments such as for internet information are to give punishments in accordance with their duties, relevant laws, and administrative regulations.

Article 39:On the basis of laws, administrative regulations, and relevant state provisions, internet information departments, in conjunction with relevant regulatory departments, are to establish and complete mechanisms for joint disciplinary action against online information content 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.

Article 40: Where violations of these Provisions cause harm to others, civil liability is borne in accordance with law, where a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with law; where a crime is not constituted, the competent departments are to give punishments in accordance with relevant laws and administrative regulations.

Chapter VIII: Supplementary Provisions

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

'Online information content service platforms' as used in these Provisions refers to online information service providers providing information content transmission services.

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

Article 42: These Provisions take effect on March 1st, 2020.

 

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