New Delhi: China has set out new rules for Chinese content creators for the publication of original content online via short video and “self-media”, these are possibly the tightest rule yet. The country’s internet watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has said the creators need a government-issued credential in order to publish anything on a host of topics. The rule, which came into effect on Monday, did not really specify the consequences of failing to follow the rules.
Associated Press quoted Titus Chen, a political scientist at Taiwan’s National Sun Yat-Sen University looking at Chinese social media policy as saying, “The regulators want to control the entire procedure of information production.”
China has history of stringent media controls but the new rule can restrict bloggers/creators from posting original content. For example, commentary channels can posts comments on news shared by an official media agency but the cannot release any new news themselves.
According to an AP news report, the policy revision is meant “to standardize and steer public accounts and information service platforms to be more self aware in keeping the correct direction of public opinion,” said the statement posted by the Cyberspace Administration. The rules may have been tighten due to the coronavirus pandemic, as the internet was the main channel to spread news and “rumours”. The AP article quoted Cyberspace Administration the notice, ”‘self-media’ maliciously created rumours and casually disregarded others’ privacy, severely impacting the stability and harmony of society and damaged the legal rights and interest of others,” while explaining the new policies.