China launches effort to ‘purify’ the internet ahead of Lunar New Year celebration, Winter Games

China’s internet watchdog has launched a “purification” campaign to “clean up” Chinese social media users’ “illegal” online content as Lunar New Year and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing draw near.

The country’s cybersecurity regulator, Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), revealed the regulations it will implement amid its month-long initiative on Tuesday, ranging from crackdowns on cyberbullying and online fraud to content featuring soft pornography, suicide and violence, according to Insider.

The CAC aims to create a “healthy, happy, and peaceful online environment” with the initiative which will coincide with this year’s Lunar New Year celebrations and the kickoff of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Feb. 4, CNN reported.

Other regulations mentioned in the announcement included the clampdown on excessive displays of wealth, overeating and the practice of superstitious beliefs such as fortune telling. The government body had already laid out similar rules regarding wealth in an announcement in November 2021, as NextShark previously reported.

News outlets’ landing pages and homepages will be monitored to prevent the publication of obscene, vulgar, violent and “horrifying messages” to create a “positive online atmosphere.” Regulators will also ban the spread of online rumors and prevent “illegal and immoral” celebrities from returning to the spotlight.

The recent batch of regulations is just one of the many sets of rules that the Chinese government has released in the past few months. In September 2021, the government banned several children’s shows that contain “any mention of violence, blood, vulgarity or pornography,” including “Ultraman Tiga.” Social media platforms such as Douyin are now required to prevent children from using their apps more than 40 minutes a day as part of the government’s effort to curb “internet addiction” among its youth.

Featured Image via Bloomberg Quicktake 

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