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Cyberspace Administration of China Initiates Campaign to ‘Clean Up’ the Internet

As China’s younger generations spend more time on mobile devices, with a growing preference for short-form and interactive content, such as live-stream and short videos, the China Internet Network Information Center, a state-run research organization, has concluded that content called “self media” has become an essential source of information for youth.

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Rongwen said the government’s strategy is to reach young people through the websites and platforms they frequently use, with a focus on social media.

“Our focus should be directed towards the younger generation; impacting youth values and viewpoints.” - Zhuang Rongwen, Director of Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC)

Internet watchdog CAC’s latest efforts to “purify [the] internet environment, promote social stability, and maintain national and political security” (according to the announcement sent to its local regulators nationwide) require internet service operators to take primary responsibility for reinforcing content creation rules.

Prohibited topics for independent content creators (“self media”):

  • Public Policy

  • Macroeconomic Situation

  • Major Disaster Accidents

  • Social Hotspot Events

  • Taking Political Topics Out of Context

  • Distorting Interpretation of Politics

  • Smear Attacks on Officials

  • Exaggerating Tragedy and Inciting Confrontation

  • Creating Damage to the Party and the Government Image

  • Harmful Information That Interferes With Economic and Social Development

According to CAC, independent creators relying on these behaviors/topics do not uphold the ideals of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Opportunely, CCP launched a short film over the weekend titled “This is me, People’s Republic of China”, outlining its values with a heroic narrative.

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