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China Deletes 1.4 Million Social Media Posts

Updated: Jan 5

China's Cyberspace Administration removes 67,000 accounts and hundreds of thousands of posts to combat fake news, impersonation and illegal profiteering.

Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC)
Credits: REUTERS/Thomas Peter

China's Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced on Friday that it has eradicated 1.4 million social media posts as part of a two-month investigation into prominent issues such as misinformation, illegal profiteering and the impersonation of state officials.

The CAC has closed down 67,000 social media accounts and deleted a substantial number of posts between March 10 and May 22, marking a significant effort in their ongoing campaign to "rectify" the cyberspace and enhance control. As part of the recent crackdown, the CAC targeted popular Chinese social media platforms including Wechat, Douyin and Weibo. Specifically focusing on "self media," a term encompassing accounts that disseminate news and information without government oversight or approval.

The Chinese government has a history of arresting citizens and censoring accounts that share sensitive or critical factual information about the Communist Party, the government, or the military, particularly if such content goes viral. Out of the permanently closed 67,000 accounts, nearly 8,000 were removed due to the dissemination of fake news, rumors and harmful information, according to the CAC.

Additionally, approximately 930,000 other accounts faced less severe penalties, ranging from loss of followers to temporary or permanent revocation of profit-making privileges.

In a separate initiative, the regulator recently took action against over 100,000 accounts that misrepresented news anchors and media agencies to combat the proliferation of AI-enabled fake news coverage.

The latest campaign by the CAC also focused on identifying and closing almost 13,000 counterfeit military accounts, bearing names such as "Chinese Red Army Command," "Chinese Anti-terrorist Force," and "Strategic Missile Force."

Furthermore, 25,000 accounts were targeted for impersonating public institutions, including disease and prevention control centers and state-run research institutes. An additional 187,000 accounts faced punishment for impersonating news media outlets, while over 430,000 allegedly provided professional advice or educational services without possessing the required qualifications.

Around 45,000 accounts were closed down for engaging in the promotion of controversial topics, clout-chasing and illegal monetization. The CAC expressed its proactive collaboration with public security and market supervision departments to combat illegal "self media" and emphasized the importance of citizen involvement in monitoring and reporting such activities to ensure a clean and regulated cyberspace.

  • China's Cyberspace Administration deletes 1.4 million social media posts following a two-month probe into misinformation, illegal profiteering, and impersonation of state officials.

  • 67,000 social media accounts have been closed, and hundreds of thousands of posts have been deleted.

  • China aims to "clean" its cyberspace and enhance control over billions of social media accounts.

  • Crackdown targets popular Chinese social media apps, including Wechat, Douyin, and Weibo.

  • Focus on "self media" accounts that publish news and information independently.

  • Arrests and censorship are common for sharing sensitive or critical information about the Communist Party, the government, or the military.

  • Counterfeit military accounts, impersonation of public institutions and fake news are key areas of concern.

  • Citizen participation in monitoring and reporting illegal activities is encouraged to maintain a clean cyberspace.

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