In yet another move to crackdown on the digital ecosystem in the country, China has announced to scrutinise all online platforms such as social media networks and video-sharing sites and clamp down on fake accounts and information as part of its drive to ‘clean up the internet, the country's cyber regulator said.
According to China's Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), it would launch a two-month special operation to target deceptive online behaviours, ranging from boosting engagement figures to paying for fake fans and reviews.
The investigation comes against the backdrop of a wide-ranging crackdown by regulators on several sectors, with officials tightening oversight of companies in technology, real estate, gaming, education, cryptocurrencies, and finance.
The CAC also held a video conference attended by its provincial and municipal bodies from across the country, according to a statement. “The conference noted that at present, fabricating online traffic, malicious public relations and comments-for-cash … harm the legitimate rights and interests of netizens,” CAC said in a statement, adding that this was the ‘final battle' in the CAC's drive ‘clean up' the internet.
Earlier special operations were launched to target celebrity fandom, minors' usage of the internet, and also discussions of historical events that differ from the official narrative promoted by the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
While the recent statement did not name any companies or individuals, it said platforms hosting film and books reviews, short videos, and social networking would be among the focal points of the operation.
China's State Council published guidelines for building a ‘civilised' internet in September, said that the web should be used to promote education about the ruling Communist Party and its achievements.