Social media like Facebook, Telegram, and Wechat may have their inherent issues, but they seem to be coming to the rescue of angry, distraught citizens whom the government has silenced. And the same is playing out in China.
Internet users in China will soon be held liable for liking posts deemed illegal or harmful, sparking fears that the world's second largest economy plans to control social media like never before. https://t.co/qIqf17YcmI
— CNN (@CNN) November 30, 2022
Then on the 30th on November 2022, CNN came out to announce an update on China’s censorship policy. Now, Chinese citizens are not allowed to like, post, or share anything that can be considered harmful or illegal, and any caught doing so would be punished accordingly.
This has sparked fears that the government is cracking down on social media platforms within its space. The authoritarian Chinese government has an internet watchdog that regulates the citizen’s use of cyberspace. And they are stepping up those regulations amid the intensifying anger the citizens have towards the government.
The regulations state that likes of any public post on social media must be regulated. And public accounts must read and vet all comments.
With the unnecessarily strict Zero-covid laws and the resulting protest that rocked most of China, the government has published new guidelines. A set of rules will take effect on December 15, 2022.
In response, the citizens have resorted to discussing in codes, screenshotting relevant information about protests because they would be taken down, and the image of a blank white paper is used to symbolize the blank papers held up in protest.
Interestingly, the chairman of the Cyberspace Administration of China is none other than the dictatorial emperor, Xi Jinping. Hich makes it difficult to challenge him, but certain brave citizens are taking up the task.
In light of all this, the services of Facebook and Instagram are no longer available in the Chinese space. Yet Chinese companies are allowed to advertise on the platforms for the rest of the world. Other social media sites are now required to conduct full KYC identification before they can use the site to post or comment.
This KYC includes the usual. Phone number, email, home address, and others. Added to the fact that they are expected to have a Vetting team responsible for reading and deleting “illegal” comments, they are also expected now to check these content before they can appear online.
The CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, said that China is a place of interest, and they would keep watching to evaluate how the turmoil affects business in the country.