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Notice on Jointly Launching a Special Governance Action on the Online Environment for Minors

Promulgation Date: 2020-8-19
Title: Notice on Jointly Launching a Special Governance Action on the Online Environment for Minors by the Ministry of Education and 6 other Departments
Document Number:Jiaoji [2020] No. 6
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities: Ministry of Education, National Press and Publication Administration, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, etc.
Source of text:

To each province, autonomous region, and directly governed municipality's department of education (education commission), press and publication bureau, Internet information office, Communications administration, public security office (bureau), market supervision bureau (office or commission), and the bureaus of education, press and publication, internet information, public security, and market supervision of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:

At present, the problems of minors' addiction to online games, unhealthy information online, and negative online social interaction are quite prominent, which seriously impacts the healthy physical and psychological growth of minors. In order to create a positive and safe online environment for minors, the Ministry of Education, the State Press and Publication Administration, the State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security and the General Administration of Market Supervision will jointly carry out a special governance action, and notice of the effort is hereby given as follows:

I. Work Goals

By jointly carrying out the special action to govern the network environment, we will correct problems such as negative online social behaviors, vulgar and harmful information, and addiction to online games that affect the healthy growth of minors; crack down and suppress a number of website platforms that violate laws and regulations; discover and expose a number of example cases; urge enterprises to strictly implement their responsibilities; purify the online environment for minors; strengthen online safety education for minors; and establish and complete long-term and effective protection mechanisms, forming a joint force across homes, schools and society to create a healthy network environment for the growth of minors.

II. Work tasks

(1) Focus on correcting the problem of internet addiction. Emphasizing user accounts that have not followed the real-name registration system, control the duration of minors' playing of online games, conduct a comprehensive rectification of the requirements for online game companies or platforms providing payment or reward services to minors, investigate and address online games that operate in violations of laws and regulations without having been reviewed, and require corrections in a set period of time for online games that fail to employ measures to prevent minors' internet addiction. Further promote the use of modes to prevent youth internet addiction by online livestream and video platforms, improve operating mechanisms real name real person verifications, function restrictions, time restrictions, content review, and algorithm-generated recommendations. Promote public interest online guardianship software for minors. Deploy grade schools of each region through the school network cloud platform and local online platforms for education and learning to carry out special educational activities in summer vacation such as on preventing internet addiction, guide parents to strengthen parents' regulation of children's online behavior, to promptly discover, stop, and correct minors' internet addiction and improper spending. (The departments of press and publication, internet information, education, communications, public security are responsible for their respective functions)

(2) Rectify negative online social behaviors. Increase the force of governance of negative online social conduct and phenomena involving minors, such as "Fan Groups", "Black Groups" and "Zu'an Cursing Culture" [Various online cultures], and investigate acts of cyberbullying and violence involving minors such as insults, personal attacks, and malicious reporting, as well as illegal activities such as extortion and trespassing on personal privacy. Inform relevant enterprises to take measures to address relevant QQ accounts and groups such as closing the groups or accounts in accordance with laws and regulations. (Public security departments are to take the lead with cooperation from the departments for Internet Information, Telecommunications, and Market Regulation.

(3) Special action on the governance of vulgar and harmful information. Focus on rectifying the problem of learning and educational website platforms and the online learning sections of other websites delivering online games, vulgar novels, entertainment livestreams, and other information unrelated to learning. Resolutely clean up website platforms' channels for children, cartoons, and comics, etc. that involve vulgar pornography, school bullying, money worship, feudal superstitions, and other ill-directed content. Strictly address pornography, violence, terror, and other vulgar and negative information in livestream and short video platforms. Severely crack down on the information and behaviors in instant messaging tools and social media platforms that induce minors to harm themselves or commit suicide or that incite minors to commit crimes. Strictly rectify malicious pop-up windows in applications commonly used by teenagers that induce them to click through and jump to harmful pages such as obscenity, vulgarity and indecency. Lawfully investigate and punish the illegal acts of publishing online game advertisements that are not conducive to the physical and mental health of minors in the mass media aimed at minors. (The Internet Information Department is to take the lead with departments such as for communications, public security, and market supervision cooperating)

(4) Strengthen the regulation of enterprises. Strengthen oversight and guidance of Internet enterprises, urge enterprises to strictly implement their responsibilities, allocate sufficient and strong forces for inspection patrols, strengthen the review of information content involving minors, promptly discover and dispose of harmful information in time, and promptly report to the competent authorities when major illegal information or conduct is found. Guide key website platforms to strengthen the construction of a content pool exclusively for youth to increase the supply of quality content suitable for minors. Strengthen information reporting by promptly announcing the investigation and handling of website platforms that violate laws and regulations, guide enterprises to truly fulfill their social responsibilities, and regulate orderly business operations. (Internet information departments leading, with cooperation from the departments for telecommunications and public security)

(5) Strengthen guidance of education and publicity. After school starts in autumn, plan for primary and secondary schools around the country to carry out online literacy and self-protection education through means such as classroom teaching, special topics, class team meeting, and so forth, to cultivate the network literacy and ability of primary and secondary school students including online skills, security and protection, and information screening, to effectively improve the online safety awareness among primary and secondary school students. Carry out publicity activities to popularize scientific concepts of family education, publicize and promote the "Family Education Handbook", include the protection of minors online as an important component of family education, guide parents to perform their guardianship duties, and guide minors go online for reasonable durations in a safe and rational way by learning to use civilized and healthy online language, and prevent and stop minors from becoming addicted to the internet. (Ministry of Education taking the lead, with departments for press and publication, internet information, telecommunications, and public security cooperating)

III. Steps for governance work

The special governance project is to be conducted in three stages.

Stage 1, deployment and baseline research. All relevant departments are to make comprehensive deployments, focusing on conducting inspection patrols and baseline research to identify problems that exist in key website platforms and key links involving minors. To be completed before the end of August 2020.

Stage 2: Focussed rectification. Focusing on the results of the background investigations, each relevant department is to carry out focussed governance of websites, platforms, applications, and so forth, cleaning up a wave of negative information that violates laws and regulations; shutting down a wave of non-compliant accounts and websites; investigating and exposing a wave of example cases of violations of laws and regulations; and attacking a wave criminal activity related to the online environment for minors. To be completed before the end of November 2020.

Stage 3: Self-examination and comprehensive review. All relevant departments are to carry out targeted self-examinations and reviews of the state of the action and rectification, closing management loopholes, and compiling effective measures to form long-term working mechanisms to purify cyberspace for minors. To be completed before the end of December 2020.

IV. Work Requirements

(1) Methodical deployment. Each region should place great emphasis on making the creation of a positive online environment an important measure in promoting the healthy physical and psychological growth of minors and preserving the vital interests of the people and social stability; truly strengthening organizational leadership, earnestly drafting plans for the special governance action, clarifying steps of governance, detailing work requirements, and condensing departmental responsibility to ensure that each item of the project is completed.

(2) Joint action between departments. All local departments such as for education, press and publication, internet information, public security, industry and information technology, and market regulation should coordinate and cooperate to establish a united effort, put together mechanisms for research, assessment and response, and focussing on strengthening regulation and administration of key steps such as market entry, content review, technical regulation, law enforcement and punishment, to appropriately address prominent matters and form a united force.

(3) Publicity and guidance. Each region should promptly summarize the state of governance and beneficial work experiences in that area, to strengthen news publicity and public opinion guidance to create a good atmosphere for governance. Promptly and publicly announce important reports and progress in the special governance project, report on example case of violations of laws and regulations that have been exposed, and respond to the people's concerns.

(4) Strengthening oversight and guidance. Each region should conduct oversight, guidance, and inspections on the state of governance, urging the full implementation of each aspect of the project to ensure that governance is effective. Dedicated channels should be established for making and receiving reports about the online environment for minors, mobilizing netizens to actively participate in oversight and reporting to increase the rates at which harmful information, and especially example cases, are discovered and dealt with.

A summary of each region's work shall be submitted to relevant departments before the end of December 2020, and relevant progress is to be promptly reported.

Ministry of Education, National Press and Publication Administration, Central Cyberspace Administration

Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Public Security, General Administration of Market Supervision

August 19, 2020


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