China introduces new regulation to punish influencers posting banned content

The Cyberspace Administration of China has issued new guidelines for tech companies, requiring them to moderate their platforms and authenticate all content. The regulations also restrict what creators can post online and impose punishments for spreading banned content.

China Flag on the table

Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet regulator, has issued new guidelines for tech companies operating within its borders to enhance platform moderation and regulate online content. According to the agency, the new guidelines should promote the formation of a good network of public opinion ecology and consolidate the management of ‘self-media’.

The 13-item guidelines require social media companies to authenticate all posted content, enforce a ‘one account for one person, two accounts for one enterprise’ policy, and suspend or prohibit users without ‘profit-making permission’ granted by the Chinese government. The regulations also mandate manual review of accounts featuring party, government, or military names or logos. These stricter measures hold tech companies accountable for self-moderation and impose restrictions on what creators can post, aligning with the Chinese Communist Party’s objectives. For example, creators and influencers who post content regarding political affairs, domestic or current, public policy, or any social event will have to prominently display their source when publishing.

The guidelines will aid the Chinese Communist Party in having more stringent oversight over both companies and creators to prevent the publishing of banned content. Social media platforms will be required to punish users who repost such material through measures like demonetisation, suspending interactive functions, banning accounts, or removing followers.

This crackdown on content creation and banned content could be seen both as China’s effort to reign the power of social media companies who have so far claimed zero accountability for the content on their platforms, but also as the Communist Party’s ability to exert political power to kill dissent, censor or de-platform opposing ideologies by deciding what is allowed on the internet.