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China's top cyberspace regulator launches crackdown on illegal information
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China's top cyberspace regulator launches crackdown on illegal information

The country's top cyberspace regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, has launched a two-month nationwide special operation to combat illegal information links, according to a statement issued on 28th of April.

This operation targets eight key areas where illegal information links are the most prevalent, which are as followed; user accounts, comment sections, livestreaming as well as short videos, lifestyle services and e-commerce.

Those who use profiles, avatars, nicknames, bios, signatures, and cover images to publish illegal links, or share vulgar content and repetitive low-quality posts and other methods to direct netizens' attention between illegal accounts, are a combating focus.

Posts in the comment areas of popular topics and bullet chats that contain illegal website links, or use tactics such as "don't search this" or "ignore the text below" to induce users to search for illegal websites, will be targeted.

Actions such as posting illegal links involving pornography and scams through chat records, H5 pages, document notes, and mini-program shares will be punished. These often use misleading promotions like false group-buying offers, red envelopes, and game trials, and employ exaggerated phrases like "not forwarding means not being patriotic" to induce users to click and spread illegal links, it said.

The use of artificial intelligence technology or fabricated identities to present false success tips, pseudo-traditional culture, "health courses," and financial advice to lure users into adding friends or joining groups, thereby facilitating scams, is another focus. Similarly, those who display suggestive content or embed illegal links during their live streams are targeted, it said.

Businesses posing as "high-end health services" and posting images with suggestive atmospheres to lure users into illegal offline activities will also be addressed. Individuals who post revealing photos on dating platforms to attract contacts for illicit activities or embed gambling and adult content links in electronic map locations and sections to attract attention will be punished.

Another combating focus includes promoting vulgar comics and novels in browser pop-up ads to entice users to click "read more" or "continue listening," thereby redirecting them to external illegal sites. Manipulating illegal website links into search results, or generating them as suggested terms to prompt users to visit them, will also be targeted.

Moreover, those selling pornographic games or novels via e-commerce platforms, or providing services such as paid posts or like-farming in a concealed manner, will be targeted.

Furthermore, in areas and apps frequented by minors, acts like displaying pornographic novels and vulgar web literature or luring users to visit pornographic cloud storage under the guise of free comics or video resources will be another focus of the operation.

An official from the CAC noted the rapid evolution and cross-platform proliferation of illegal link issues, which are highly prone to resurgence. This special operation aims to establish a cross-platform mechanism covering all major websites and platforms to share timely updates on illegal links and enhance coordinated responses, effectively eradicating the breeding ground for illegal information links. Yi

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