China Takes Down Chinese Celebrity Gossip Social Media Accounts

By Faith Magbanua, June 09, 2017 17:06 PM

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China's cyberspace authorities have ordered the country's internet companies to take down 60 popular celebrity gossip social media accounts.

According to a post in the Beijing Cyberspace Administration's social media account, website operators from some of China's biggest internet companies - including Tencent and Baidu - have been told in a meeting that they must take precautionary measures in their user accounts, especially those that are focusing mainly on celebrity gossip.

"These websites must adopt effective measures to keep in check the problems of exploitation of private sex scandals of the celebrities, the hyping of ostentatious celebrity spending and entertainment, and catering to the poor taste of the public," the post said

They must also "actively disseminate core socialist values, and create a more healthier environment for the mainstream public opinion", it added.

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President Xi Jinping has overseen a series of measures to hold down independent online media while reaffirming the Communist Party's role in limiting and guiding online discussion.

The Cyberspace Administration of China in May released regulations for online news portals and network providers, which extends restrictions on content and requires all services to be managed by a party-sanctioned editorial staff.

Celebrity blogs and sites are very popular in China, especially those that regularly produce scandalous reports on celebrities' private lives.

In the meeting, the Beijing Cyberspace Administration also told the internet companies that a new cyber security law will came into effect starting June 1, 2017 and it will require the websites not to harm or slander the reputation or privacy of individuals.

Companies must collect and record data on any site or account that defies the cyber security law and must immediately report it to authorities, they said.

60 different accounts were ordered to be closed down in light of these meetings, though many were duplicates run by the same individual or group website administration.

The fans of the closed websites reacted angrily on social media, accusing the government of failing to understand the young people, and failure to appreciate the value of holding celebrities to account.

China's Number One Paparazzi Zhou Wei, an account that had more than 7 million viewers, was one of these closed sites. One Weibo user said   "Now it seems the entertainment crowd can shamelessly go about their shady business, the only one who could keep them in check will not be able to follow them any longer."

 

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