China's online censors announce massive purge of user accounts, apps, data

30,000 social media accounts, 733 websites, and 9,382 mobile apps have already been shut down in 2019

(Image from Pixabay user geralt)

(Image from Pixabay user geralt)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Online censors in China conducted a large operation this week removing thousands of personnel accounts, mobile apps and deleting masses of data from the Chinese intranet.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) made an announcement on Jan. 23 that the recent campaign resulted in the removal of 30,000 online media accounts, 733 websites, and 700 million items described as “inappropriate or harmful information.”

The announcement also stated that since Jan. 3 there have been 9,382 mobile applications banned from the online market place.

The most high-profile of the apps removed was “Fast Daily News” belonging to the giant online app producer Tencent. Chinese media stated the news application had been “spreading vulgar content and poisoning the online environment.”

A popular photo sharing site Huaban was also criticized in the Cyberspace Administration, and was temporarily taken off line to remedy “ecosystem problems,” reports Reuters.

According to the Cyberspace Administration, their campaign to sanitize the country’s intranet which began in early 2018, is aimed at rooting out pornography, gambling, click-bait material, illegal marketing practices, or anything that spreads “politically harmful information” or which questions the history of the Chinese Communist Party.

CGTN reports that Chinese authorities have shut down over 13,000 websites for such violations since the beginning of 2015.