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Copycats on WeChat may face removal of accounts

2015-02-04 16:22 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

Public accounts on Tencent's WeChat app found plagiarizing will face being removed from the instant messaging service, the app developers said in a statement.

"WeChat encourages original content and quality service" and will firmly crack down on pirates, said the statement issued Tuesday.

The announcement came after recent complaints of people stealing content from other public accounts and passing it as their own. This presents a problem as it can divert traffic from the original poster and, in some cases, hurt advertising sales for sponsored public accounts.

Under the new rules, operators of such accounts will first be asked to delete the plagiarized article and be given a warning. After a second offence, plagiarizing accounts will be suspended for seven days, with 15 days for the third time and 30 days for the fourth.

The account will be terminated for good if found plagiarizing a fifth time, according to the rules.

For those who violate the rules and use the "originality declaration" function for copycat contents, WeChat will temporarily suspend the accounts.

The public can report any suspected plagiarism via a link on the WeChat platform.

Any WeChat users can apply for public accounts to release articles or pictures, different from personal accounts.

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