China bans online videos showing homosexuality, affairs

China issued new regulations on Friday around online video content, directing streaming platforms to eliminate a range of programs in yet another tightening of controls on the Chinese Internet.

A man uses a computer in an internet cafe in Beijing on June 1, 2017. China issued new regulations Friday around online video content, directing streaming platforms to eliminate a range of programs in yet another tightening of controls AFP/GREG BAKER

BEIJING: China issued new regulations on Friday (Jun 30) around online video content, directing streaming platforms to eliminate a range of programs in yet another tightening of controls on the Chinese Internet.

Among the films, dramas and cartoons targeted by the China Netcasting Services Assocation’s (CNSA) rules are those “demonstrating ‘abnormal’ sexual relations or acts, such as… homosexuality.”

Online video platforms must hire at least three “professional censors” to watch every program from beginning to end and remove those that do not adhere to “correct political and aesthetic standards,” the regulations said.

Providers are called upon to produce programs that “center on the people and promote socialist values and Chinese culture.”

The new rules come just one week after China ordered a halt to video streaming on three major websites.

According to China’s media oversight body, the platforms – including the massively popular Sina Weibo microblogging platform, and ACFUN – did not possess the permits required for providing their audio-visual streams.

Authorities were directed to shut down offending audio-visual services “so as to create a cleaner cyberspace,” China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said in a statement last Thursday.

Earlier this month, authorities also closed dozens of celebrity gossip blogs which were described as “catering to the public’s vulgar taste.”

Freedom House, a US-based nonprofit that advocates human rights and democracy, deemed China the world’s “worst abuser of internet freedom” in 2016, pointing to the steady diminishment of online freedom of expression under President Xi Jinping’s “information security” policies.

The country’s heavy web censorship – which blocks sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter – is notoriously known as the “Great Firewall.”

The regulations introduced Friday order the cutting or removal of videos that “damage national image, derogate revolutionary leaders, propagate military conquests of ancient emperors or spread religious extremism.”

Violent and pornographic content, as well as those depicting extramarital affairs, prostitution, drug addiction or superstitious behaviour such as “conjuring spirits,” are also banned.

Video providers must “work hard to tell China’s story well,” and “contribute to realising the Chinese dream of a great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” the regulations said.

Xinhua state news agency reported that video providers that violate the regulations could be reported to police for investigation.

Weibo users assailed the new rules, with many focusing on the ban on content showing homosexuality.

“What do they mean by ‘abnormal’?” one individual commented. “To think, that you can use such explicitly discriminatory language in a public announcement?!”

An account that helps same-sex couples travel abroad to get married said: “While others are progressing, we’re moving backwards.”

Still others remarked on the rules’ heavy-handed nature.

“The People’s Republic of China is steadily catching up to North Korea… soon we’ll have to sew up our mouths.”

Source: AFP

This entry was posted in China, Civil rights - Quyền dân sự, Internet, Internet information management - quản lý thông tin trên Internet, IT - Information Technology - Công nghệ thông tin, LGBT and tagged , , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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