Arts & Entertainment

China to prosecute ‘likes’ to ‘negative information’ from Thursday

Beijing, Dec 15 (EFE).- The new regulation of the Chinese Cyberspace Administration, according to which internet users will be responsible if they click “like” on information considered “negative,” came into effect Thursday.

The body promulgated a new version of its regulations at the end of November that says “likes” are equivalent to a comment and, therefore, authors have the same responsibility before the platforms and the authorities.

The rules stipulate that commentators must abide by “laws,” follow “public order and decency,” promote “fundamental socialist values” and refrain from publishing “information prohibited by relevant state regulations.”

Neither the platforms nor the users will be able to “deceive public opinion,” the institution said.

Among some of the contents the body considers “negative” or “harmful” are those that “attack national honor and interests,” “defame or deny the exploits and spirit of heroes and martyrs,” “promote terrorism ,” “incite ethnic hatred,” “spread rumors” or “disrupt the economic and social order.”

The Cyberspace Administration said it urged platforms to “improve post comment reviews” and “inspect in real time.”

In recent weeks, when both virtual and street protests took place in large Chinese cities against the “zero Covid-19” policy, many Internet users recalled the imminence of the new regulations in their publications critical of government policies.

“Quick, press ‘like it while we still can,’” and similar messages were common.

“It represents a regression of 10,000 steps. Who establishes what is negative information?” wrote a user on the Weibo social network, a platform similar to Twitter, which is blocked in China.

In July, Chinese social networks such as Weibo announced a campaign against homophonous messages or misspelled Chinese characters, used by the country’s Internet users to circumvent censorship.

A few months earlier, Chinese authorities issued a code of conduct with 31 “bad habits” for influencers, prohibiting them from defaming the country’s culture, historical figures or national heroes, as well as urging them to avoid promoting topics considered delicate.

China is the country with the most Internet users in the world (more than 1 billion) but at the same time one that exercise the greatest control over web content, as popular sites such as Google, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube have been blocked in the country for years. EFE


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