Few countries exert as much control over what their citizens see and do on the internet quite like China, but the Asian nation is continuing to introduce new online censorship laws. Last Friday, regulations arrived that require the checking of all audio and visual content to ensure it adheres to “core socialist values.”
As reported by Reuters, the new rules mean that sites posting material such as films, smaller video clips, sports, educational content, and animation will be shut down if they cover topics deemed to be inappropriate, which, according to the government-affiliated China Netcasting Services Association, include drug addiction and homosexuality.
The regulations state that at least two “auditors” must now check all audiovisual content posted online, while microblogging sites like Weibo will come under more scrutiny. Anything deemed to be unsuitable will be investigated and could see the sites closed down.
The move has been met with criticism as many content creators worry about the effect it will have on creativity. And while enforcing the regulations may prove difficult, some are already planning on how to avoid the wrath of China’s authorities. Yummy founder Zhao Jing said she would be using euphemisms for genitalia and avoid banned subjects, such as one-night stands, on her site, which specializes in education on gender topics.
The Chinese government is targeting an increasing variety of web activities as it attempts to "create a healthy and uplifting mainstream media environment, and actively spread socialist core values." Over the last month, regulators closed celebrity gossip websites, restricted what videos people can post, and forced people to apply for a licence if they want to do any online streaming.