China's top Internet watchdog and education professionals on Tuesday urged State-owned and commercial media, as well as netizens, to clean up vulgar language online.
"There is a lack of respect for others on the Internet. While rumormongers can be held accountable, filthy word users are not," Jiang Jun, a spokesperson for the Cyberspace Administration of China, said on Tuesday at a symposium with Net regulators, media, publishers, schools, language and broadcast experts.
The symposium is aimed at creating a cyberspace free of vulgar words for the youth. "Adopting vulgar catchwords will influence the adolescents' values and aesthetic orientation, and harm their linguistic competence," Cao Yaxin, deputy secretary general of the Chinese Cultural Institute of Internet Communication, said at the symposium.
The top three buzzwords in Chinese cyberspace in 2014 were nima (F-word with your mother), diaosi (underachievers) and doubi (silly but lovely), according to a survey on online vulgar words conducted by news site people.com.cn, released on Tuesday.
Dismissing speculation on regulations, Jiang said that "we are simply calling attention to the pervasive usage of foul words online."
He pointed out that a drop in the use of vulgar words depends on public supervision, self-discipline and website management, Jiang said.
Yan Yuanping, a Sina Weibo senior manager, said they will launch two online campaigns patterned after South Korean educator Min Byoung-chul's 2007 campaign, in a bid to promote a friendlier cyberspace environment by encouraging friendlier interactions.
Yan added that they are considering filtering certain keywords, deleting posts containing filthy words and issuing warnings to spiteful netizens.
Ma Zhi, editor-in-chief of news portal qq.com, said instead of removing posts, they would "guide" netizens in the proper use of language. They will prominently place friendly posts and review entries on its blog platform and its messaging app WeChat prior to their publication.
At the end of 2014, students still made up the majority of Chinese netizens, accounting for 23.8 percent, according to the 35th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China released by the China Internet Network Information Center in February.