In a Bold Move to Control Online Narrative, China Deletes 1.4 Million Social Media Posts under Crackdown on ‘Self-Media’.

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Tech News Summary:

  • China’s Cyberspace Administration removed 1.4 million social media posts and closed 67,000 accounts as part of its “rectification” campaign to control misinformation, illegal speculation, and impersonation of state officials.
  • The crackdown targeted popular social media apps such as WeChat, Douyin, and Weibo and focused on accounts known as “self-media” that post news and information without government approval.
  • The campaign targeted forged military accounts, accounts impersonating public institutions and media companies, and accounts offering career advice or educational services without relevant qualifications. It is part of China’s ongoing effort to control its online presence and shape public opinion.

In a bold move to control the online narrative, China has intensified its crackdown on ‘self-media’ over the past few months. The term ‘self-media’ refers to personal social media accounts, blogs, and websites which are used by individuals to report news and share opinions.

According to reports, the Chinese government has deleted 1.4 million social media posts since the crackdown began in June 2021. The targeted accounts belonged to independent journalists, activists, and social media influencers, who have been critical of the government’s policies and actions.

The crackdown also included the closure of several popular online news outlets and the detention of several journalists, including Zhang Zhan, who was sentenced to four years in prison for reporting on China’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chinese government has justified the crackdown by citing the need to control the flow of information and prevent the spread of rumors and fake news. However, many human rights groups and free speech advocates have criticized the move, saying that it is a blatant violation of the fundamental human right of free speech.

The crackdown is seen as part of an ongoing effort by the Chinese government to tighten its grip on the media and control the narrative. This move comes ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which is scheduled to take place later this year.

As China continues to assert its authority over the internet and public discourse, it remains to be seen what impact the crackdown will have on the country’s social and political climate.

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