China scours social media, erases thousands of accounts
China’s top cyber authority has scrubbed 9,800 social media accounts of independent news providers deemed to have posted sensational, vulgar or politically harmful content on the Internet, it said late on Monday (Nov 12).
China’s strict online censorship rules have tightened in recent years with new legislation to restrict media outlets, surveillance measures for media sites and rolling campaigns to remove content deemed unacceptable.
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said in a statement that the campaign, launched on Oct 20, had erased the accounts for violations that included “spreading politically harmful information, maliciously falsifying (Chinese Communist) party history, slandering heroes and defaming the nation’s image.”
CAC also summoned social media giants, including Tencent’s Wechat and Sina-owned Weibo, warning them against failing to prevent “uncivilised growth” and “all kinds of chaos” among independent media on their platforms.