China applies from Thursday a new internet regulation which imposes, in the name of “national security”, stricter control of online comments, risking additional cuts to the freedom of expression.
The Asian country is one of the most dynamic in the world in the Internet sector, especially in sales, online payment, live broadcasting or social networks.
But several foreign sites are blocked (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter…) and internet platforms have armies of employees tasked with deleting messages that are too politically sensitive.
The new regulation. applied from this Thursday, it establishes that the service provider “must proceed to an evaluation of the credit of the users based on their behavior in terms of comments,” the text indicates.
Those “severely discredited” by their messages “will be placed on a blacklist” that will prohibit them from commenting, even creating a new account, the document published on November 16 specifies.
All users must register with their real name and identification number.
The normative It mainly applies to the comment sections of sites and apps linked mostly with information.
In practice, these measures should deter many users from writing embarrassing messages to the government.
The administration of Cyberspace states that it contributes to “protecting national security, public interest and citizens.”
The official press promotes the regulation, highlighting that “the Internet is not a zone without laws.”
Netizens seem mostly hostile. “This helps limit anti-social behaviour, rumors and online violence“, admitted a user of the Weibo social network, but added that” You also have to listen to the aspirations and criticisms of the people!
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