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China tightens controls on social media: reports

Taipei, Feb. 4 (CNA) Beijing has imposed more stringent restrictions on the use of social media, banning institutions and individuals from using account names or posting status updates that convey "illegal or negative messages," according to Chinese media reports. The updated regulations, released Tuesday by the country's State Council Information Office (SCIO), apply to Internet users who have accounts on blogs, microblogging sites, instant messaging sites and online forums. Registration will be denied to people who convey illegal or negative messages through their choice of user names, profile photos or status posts, the reports said. Citing SCIO sources, a report on said China has one of largest populations of Internet users in the world, which presents some challenges for choosing account names. The situation has become increasingly chaotic, with some accounts purporting to be governmental departments and units, and people choosing user names such as "Obama" and "Putin," the report said. Some user names and profile photos convey violent or obscene messages, while others make reference to gambling and illegal drugs, the report said. Internet account names and status posts should not contain messages that "jeopardize national security, leak national secrets, spread rumors, or disrupt social order," the SCIO has decreed. The latest regulations came on the heels of the SCIO's new rules on the management of instant communication service, which were imposed last August. Under those rules, messaging app users are prohibited from posting or forwarding news about political matters, and people signing up for messaging app services are required to use their real names. (By Elizabeth Hsu)

Updated : 2021-09-26 21:59 GMT+08:00