Net watchdog targets providers, platforms
China's top cyberspace authority released a draft internet management regulation to maintain internet order and punish those who post subversive or terroristic messages.
The draft, which was opened for public opinions on Tuesday by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), banned illegal online content that endangers national security, promotes terrorism, incites ethnic hatred, damages national religious policies, spreads falsehoods or information related to obscenity, gambling or violence.
The regulation also targets information that threatens national security, subverts state power or destroys national unity.
Harmful information will be also banned for containing vulgar, sexual seduction and blood, hyping celebrity scandals, inciting discrimination against certain groups, using exaggerated headlines or harming juveniles' health, according to the draft.
CAC is soliciting public opinions on the draft until October 10.
Internet information service platforms must establish a mechanism to review information, posts, conduct real-time checks and deal with rumors.
Service platforms have to immediately stop sending information banned by laws and regulations and report related cases to their superiors, according to the draft.
This regulation combines measures launched previously together and establishes a comprehensive management system to create a good internet environment, Wang Sixin, a media law professor at the Communication University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
He pointed out that contents banned in the regulation are derived from previous cases the office has handled and prominent problems in the current Chinese internet environment.
The regulation shows a right direction in content for actors in the internet field and clearly sets standards for each actor, Wang said.
Online service platforms will be warned or fined up to 500,000 yuan ($70,365) for violations and information producers will be suspended from updating or have their accounts closed for violations.
Those suspected of committing crimes will be held accountable for criminal liabilities, the regulation says.
The regulation follows a six-month CAC campaign targeting harmful information in the first half of 2019, which cleansed the Chinese internet of more than 110 million pieces of pornography and gambling information as of June.
Authorities closed 4,644 websites, shut down 1.18 million accounts and forwarded gambling and pornographic clues to the police, according to a report of the Xinhua News Agency on June 14.
In August, a netizen in East China's Jiangsu Province was detained for flinging abuse at citizens and cities in areas affected by the typhoon Lekima.