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China's Social Media Purging: 1.4 million Posts Removed in a Two-month Investigation

WeChat, Douyin, and Weibo were among the well-known Chinese social media platforms that were the target of the most recent crackdown

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Preeti Anand
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Following a thorough two-month investigation, China's Cyberspace Administration (CAC) recently took measures to erase around 1.4 million social media posts. The study focused on several issues, including disseminating false information, illicit profiting, and impersonating public servants.

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The effort, which ran from 10 March to 22 May, led to the deletion of millions of posts and the termination of 67,000 social network accounts. China's ongoing strategy to "clean" its internet and strengthen control over online platforms includes this initiative.

WeChat, Douyin, and Weibo were well-known Chinese social media platforms

WeChat, Douyin, and Weibo were among the well-known Chinese social media platforms that were the target of the most recent crackdown. The targeted accounts were classified as "self-media," a term for accounts that disseminate news and information but are not controlled by the government or recognised by the state. If they post sensitive or critical material about the Communist Party, the government, or the military, these accounts are frequently inspected and may be censored.

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Permanently closed accounts were deleted

Nearly 8,000 of the 67,000 permanently closed accounts were deleted for disseminating false information, rumours, and harmful content, according to the CAC. Additionally, roughly 930,000 additional accounts were given less severe punishments, including losing followers, being temporarily suspended, or having their right to make money taken away.

CAC deactivated accounts too

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In a separate endeavour, the CAC recently deactivated over 100,000 accounts that falsely identified news anchors and news organisations in response to the growing danger posed by AI-enabled fake news reporting. This move aimed to prevent the spread of misleading information and boost the level of authenticity in the online news ecosystem.

Numerous accounts were reported

Around 13,000 fake military accounts with names like "Chinese Red Army Command," "Chinese Anti-terrorist Force," and "Strategic Missile Force" were also the subject of the CAC's most recent effort. Additionally, 25,000 accounts were found to have impersonated government organisations such as disease control centres and state-run research organisations. Over 430,000 accounts were reported for providing expert advice or educational services without the necessary credentials, while another 187,000 accounts received penalties for impersonating news media organisations. In total, 45,000 accounts were closed for engaging in illegal money-making, exaggerating contentious issues, and attention-seeking.

CAC actively worked with public security

The CAC highlighted how actively it worked with the public security and market oversight departments during the effort to combat illicit "self-media." To assist in preserving a legal and regulated online environment, the administration urged internet users to take part in monitoring and reporting illegal activities.

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