China has now extended the scope of its censorship from political content to entertainment gossip. The Cyberspace Administration of China, the government arm that censors content that would contradict the government’s political agenda, recently deactivated multiple social media accounts of entertainment news agencies, reports SCMP.
The country’s censorship agency issued a notice on Wednesday that listed 19 entertainment news accounts that were officially removed from Weibo, Tencent, NetEase, and Baidu, According to the announcement, the accounts were suspended in accordance with China’s new cybersecurity law, which prohibits any content online that may breach privacy.
The agency further urged the websites to help stop the spread of “vulgar” entertainment news. An administration representative later explained that the new crackdown was meant to help spread “socialist core values and providing for a good mainstream discursive environment,” reports China News.
Netizens’ reactions toward the shutting down of paparazzi accounts have been mixed. Supporters of the move even urged the government to take down more accounts, while others expressed concern about its future effects on social media platforms in general.
Mashable reports that even some of the comments on the issue have been deleted.
In a statement (as translated by Mashable), Weibo explained that the deleted accounts were found to be posting “defamatory information” and “spreading rumors.”
“The fanbase of various stars and celebrities make up an important part of the Weibo community,” the statement read. “This community and platform doesn’t need a hasty, unsustainable growth, but needs to reject vulgar and ugly rumors and slander.
“As a social media network, we hope that other content creation platforms adjust their strategies.”
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