China Scours Social Media, Erases Thousands of Accounts. China has already been one of the most strict countries when it comes to what their citizens are posting on the internet regarding the general affairs of the country. And now, china has scrapped off over 9800 social media accounts claiming to have posted something which was unpolitical, unsocial and against laws of the country.
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said in a statement that the campaign, launched on October 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.” The term “self-media” is mostly used on Chinese social media to describe independent news accounts that produce original content but are not officially registered with the authorities.
Such accounts have proliferated in recent years and range from hard-hitting investigative journalism to celebrity gossip or lewd content. Many are hugely popular due to offering more novel and sensational news than official sources.
Online commentators noted that some of the accounts closed had been sharing false or pornographic content – both of which are illegal in China – but also lamented that some of the accounts targeted in this latest sweep appeared to have merely been too critical. NGOCN, a group that produced popular articles about social issues in China, also had two accounts deleted but pledged in a statement to continue producing content. “This is an era of accounts being obliterated,” the group said. “It went from a single article being blocked, to the censorship of some prohibited speech… then today all of a sudden, we have no account.”