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Special Action on Rectifying the "Disorder" in Personal Media

Promulgation Date: 2023-3-2
Title: Notice on Carry Out the Special Action on Rectifying the "Disorder" in Personal Media
Document Number:
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities: Secretariat of the Cyberspace Administration of China
Source of text: https://finance.sina.com.cn/tech/roll/2023-03-13/doc-imyktshv5454308.shtml

To all provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality Party Committee Internet information offices, and the Party Committee internet information office of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:

In accordance with the 2023 "Qinglang" series of special action plans, the Central Cyberspace Administration of China will launch a two-month Special Action to Strictly Rectify the Disorder of "Personal Media'" beginning today.

I. Work Goals

Correct the disorder in ‘personal media’, and resolve deep-seated issues such as the content of personal media being untrue and operational conduct being irregular, to preserve the positive order of online information content dissemination. Solidify the primary responsibility of website platforms, urging platforms to complete management systems the full processes of account registration, operation, and closure, and strengthen the normalized management of account name information verification, professional qualification certification, and information content review. Explore the use of economic tactics to strengthen the regulation of personal media, curb illegal for-profit acts by personal media, unifying social and economic efficacy, and creating a positive online environment.

II. Main tasks

Focus on key platform types such as chats, short-video, and livestreaming to target prominent problems such as rumors, fakes, and illegal for-profit conduct by personal media; resolutely combatting, sternly punishing, and creating a positive online space.

(1) Resolutely combat personal media publication of rumors, harmful and fake information

1. Combat the spreading of rumors by personal media. First is creating rumors out of nothing by fabricating events or fantastic stories, or concocting the reasons, details, progress, or outcome for cases and incidents, Second is dressing up incidents to create fake information, gathering old news to reheat it, piecing together news from different areas, or maliciously connecting unrelated persons, images, or audiovisual material. Third is making up poems or language from the elder revolutionaries under the flag of ‘Chinese Classics” or “Red Digests”.

 2. Combat the use of personal media to brew up harmful information. The focus is on using public policies, macroeconomic trends, major disasters and accidents, and other such hot social incidents, and distorting and interpreting them out of context, attacking by turning things on their head, or playing up distress to incite opposition, to create harmful information that injures the image of the Party or government and disrupts economic and social development.

3. Combat the use of personal media for sensationalism. Conduct using tactics such as flooding,“clickbait”, concentrated publication of similar copy, or linked publication by multiple accounts, to recklessly transmit what one knows or should know is a rumor, false information, or harmful information. In situations where rumors or fake information has already been clarified, or harmful information has already been verified, continuing to blindly follow and conform to the trend, moving forward and spreading rumors, fake information, and harmful information.

(2) Resolutely suppress personal media that pose as official organizations, news media, and designated persons.

1. Suppress the use of account information to pose as others. First is personal media using names and logos in their account information such as names, avatars, or bios to pose as Party, government, or military organs,. public institutions, or news media. Second is personal media’s unauthorized use of the name of administrative divisions at the county level or higher in its account name information to mislead the public. Third is personal media which uses methods such as changing its account name, modifying its personal signature, or setting up a new user avatar to pose as the staff of official bodies or news media as well as other specified persons.

2. Suppress the use of information content to pose as others. First, is personal media falsely portraying itself as a party, relative, or person related to a so-called hot incident, to expose case leads or details, request information, etc. Second is personal media altering or selectively editing some content from official news conferences, reports, and so forth, to create and publish fake reports, etc. Third is personal media decorating the background of livestream rooms or short videos to be the same as or resemble television news programs.

3. Ban false pretenses by personal media that lack professional qualifications. Personal media that lacks qualifications in areas such as education, justice, and medicine, that use titles such as ‘teacher’ (教师),professor, laywer, doctor, or physician, pretending to be professionals to publish information in professional areas such as education, educational psychology, legal exposition, case analysis, popular medical information, and the explanation of disease trends.

(3) Comprehensively govern illegal for-profit acts by personal media.

1. Strictly correct personal media driving and stirring up hot topics. The key personal media using improper comments, nonsense explanations, or biased distortions of public policies and societal hot topics to gain popularity, seizing on opportunities to market and sell products, courses, or services; accepting user tips, starting paid consultation, or promoting goods in livestreams; conducting livestreams, taking photos or videos, from the site of disasters or accidents, places where hot incidents occurred, or places related to hot celebrities, to sell disaster, and draw traffic under the banner of investigation, pursuing inquiries, giving support, or aid.

2. Strictly correct personal media creating hot topics to draw traffic. First is maliciously speculating, spreading conspiracy theories, and collecting relevant information to push public sentiment and create secondary popular opinion after major incidents occur. Second is deliberately selecting topics with a high degree of public interest such as private sector economics, family disputes, romance, and parenthood, to publish contentious or misleading speech that incites the other side and divides public understanding. Third is grandstanding to harvest traffic by violating public mores and good custom to create ‘motivational online stars”, vulgar personalities, etc.

3. Strictly correct personal media using vulnerable groups to gain traffic. First is cajoling or enticing the elderly to make videos or set up livestreams to trick netizens into liking, tipping, giving donations, etc. Second is tricking or enticing disabled persons to get traffic through illegal and immoral means such as profiting from pity, mocking, or abuse. Third is ignoring the physical and mental health of minors by exploiting them for gain.

III. Work Requirements

The Internet information departments of all levels should increase their political stances, strengthen organizational leadership; earnestly plan and make precise allocations, for solidifying and advancement.

1. Make Strict Standards for Dispositions Urge website platforms to make thorough self-inspections and corrections, and severely punish personal media with violations that refuse to make changes despite education; Lawfully employ punishments such as requiring corrections in a set period, fines, suspension of related services, or removal from the market against website platforms that have inadequate management or are permissive, and alert personal media and websites.

2. Curb illegal for-profit operations. Guide website platform’s use of economic tactics, and use punishment measures against illegal personal media business such as removing all followers, suspending or shutting down livestreams, user tipping, knowledge fees, and the power to withdraw payments, removing product links, canceling advertising revenue or traffic rates.

3. Complete Management Systems Urge website platforms to strictly implement the requirements of policies and regulations, improve management steps such as for the registration, operation, and closing of personal media; strengthen verification of account name information, strictly review accreditation materials, and add indicators for professional sectors.

4. Strengthen joint action among departments. Strengthen consultation and assessment with departments such as for public security, promptly report to the public security organs on leads of illegality and crimes by personal media that are screened and reported by website platforms, and strictly punish criminal conduct online.

5. Strengthen publicity and guidance. Urge website platforms to promptly publish announcements on the special governance action, example cases of violations, and so forth; encouraging netizens to actively provide and report leads, consolidating a broad social consensus.

Secretariat of the Cyberspace Administration of China

2023/3/2

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