China’s Crackdown on Short Videos and Online Censorship

China's internet censors are targeting short videos that spread misleading content as part of its latest online crackdown.


China's Crackdown on Short Videos

The Cyberspace Administration of China announced its annual crackdown on internet content, focusing on short videos that spread rumours or promote incorrect values. This marks the first time that pessimism has been listed as one of the incorrect values that will be targeted. The crackdown aims to create a healthy online space for competition and benefit people's mental health.

The campaign will also address the issue of fake videos generated using artificial intelligence. China's best-known short video platform, Douyin, along with other major Chinese social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo, will be subject to the crackdown. Content producers who create stories about social minorities to win public sympathy will also be targeted.

Removal of Incorrect Values

The Cyberspace Administration of China aims to remove incorrect values from the internet, including wrong career values, promoting pessimism and extremism, and extravagance and money worship. In recent months, concerns over the country's struggling property sector have led to increased pessimism among internet users about their future economic prospects. Videos showing the plight of homebuyers affected by the crisis have been circulating online.

The crackdown will also address AI-generated fake short videos that manipulate or fabricate content. Provisional regulations on generative AI, based on the core ideology of socialism, privacy, and intellectual property, were introduced by the watchdog earlier this year.

Previous Results and Future Measures

According to the Cyberspace Administration, previous crackdown efforts resulted in the suspension of 1.35 billion accounts, the deletion of 76 million illegal or improper messages, and the shutdown of 10,500 websites between 2021 and 2022. The current crackdown aims to continue these efforts and create a healthier online environment.

China's internet censorship has been a topic of international concern. Critics argue that it restricts freedom of expression and access to information. However, the Chinese government maintains that these measures are necessary to maintain social stability and protect its citizens from harmful content.