China Unveils New Regulations Requiring Sites To Pre-Censor All Comments

from the yeah,-sure-that'll-work dept

As we see more and more western countries looking to regulate the internet in order to stifle speech they dislike, we’ve noted how much these efforts seem to be almost directly modeled on how China censors the internet. You might think that would be a reason to run in the other direction, but too many policymakers seem to now view China’s Great Firewall as a success story to be followed. And, now they may get some new ideas, as China has pushed out a draft of revisions to its regulations regarding online commenting. And, while some of it is unclear, it appears to include a provision saying that services that enable comments need to have tools in place to review every comment before it can be viewed on the site.

Specifically, the draft regulations include this section:

Establish and complete information security systems for the review and management, real-time inspection, emergency response, and the acceptance of reports for post comments, to review the content of post comments before publication, and promptly discover and address unlawful and negative information, and report it to the internet information departments.

For somewhat obvious reasons, that’s raising some concerns. As the Tech Review article linked above notes, online comments and other more real-time communications have always been a sort of loophole regarding the Great Firewall, as discussions on sensitive topics often breakthrough there, even if only to be deleted later. However, this new rule seems to be setting up a system to block even that.

There’s a need for a stand-alone regulation on comments because the vast number makes them difficult to censor as rigorously as other content, like articles or videos, says Eric Liu, a former censor for Weibo who’s now researching Chinese censorship at China Digital Times. 

“One thing everyone in the censorship industry knows is that nobody pays attention to the replies and bullet chats. They are moderated carelessly, with minimum effort,” Liu says. 

But recently, there have been several awkward cases where comments under government Weibo accounts went rogue, pointing out government lies or rejecting the official narrative. That could be what has prompted the regulator’s proposed update.

Tech Review quotes people saying that it’s unlikely (for now) that Beijing will require everyone to pre-review every comment (recognizing that’s likely to be impossible), but that it will put pressure on sites to be much more proactive, and that it could force this “feature” to be used on highly controversial topics.

It does seem that a straightforward reading of the law is that it requires sites to at least build out the functionality to pre-approve all comments if need be, even if it does not need to be on all the time.

There are some other features in the new regulations, including granting more power to who can block comments, suggesting that content creators themselves will have more power to censor comments in response to their content (rather than relying on the service’s in-house censors to do so).

Also, I note that part of these requirements would make Elon Musk and others who insist that every user should be “verified” even if their identities are not disclosed publicly, happy. As the rules require:

Follow the principle of ‘real names on file, but whatever you want up front’ , to conduct verification of identification information for registered users, and must not provide post comment services to users whose identification information has not been verified.

So, for all of the folks out there insisting that all internet users who are commenting should have identifying information on tap, in case it’s needed, just know that you’re following in the footsteps of Chinese censors.

And, of course, the new regulations also seek to tie that verified identity to China’s infamous social credit scoring system, though amusingly this is framed as part of privacy protections.

Establish and complete systems for the protection of users’ personal information: the handling of users’ personal information shall comply with the principles of legality, propriety, necessity, and creditworthiness; disclose rules for handling personal information: giving notice of the goals and methods of handling personal information, the types of personal information to be handled, the period for retention, and other such matters; and obtain the consent of the individuals in accordance with law, except as otherwise provided by laws and administrative regulations.

The people pushing for similar ideas in Europe and the US insist that it won’t be abused, but we can look to China — and the fact that many of the proposed regulations we’re seeing today originated as part of China’s Great Firewall for censorship to see where they likely lead.

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Comments on “China Unveils New Regulations Requiring Sites To Pre-Censor All Comments”

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41 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Yes establish systems for handling user data
or any content so it can be sent directly to the government if they want to track them and maybe arrest anyone who dares to make a meme or link to an image that might be seen to criticise the government in any way
The problem is weibo is a valuable service used by millions of people to communicate or even as part of business, so it has to be censored but it cannot be shut down

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

DBA Phillip Cross says:

The main incident that provoked this was the Tangshan beating incident, where four female diners were brutally beaten after rejecting sexual harassment.

The video’s of the event were horrific to watch, it was caught from start to finish on film, both at the diner on security camera, and in the streets via public feeds.

The core discussion that provoked the outrage is that some mmaintained that public footage had gone missing, and there was debate about whether the girls actually still exist–whether or not they were murdered, and it was covered up. District bureau chiefs heads rolled, and the gang responsible for the beating were quickly arrested–due in large part to China’s massive public camera surveillance.

But honestly, it wasn’t China who invented internet censorship–that is part of the wider, left-wing assault on bad ideas via political correctness, speech policing and so on.

It started during the 90’s. as the gender feminists. “empowered women” and “you can’t say the N*word!” types united with the far-right neocons to censor speech, and so, here we are.

China bashing won’t solve that problem–China could fall into the center of the earth, taking all censorship with it, and the US-FVEY’s nations would still have their doomed Horseshoe Theory shaped faux-democracies eating away at rights.

The people pushing for similar ideas in Europe and the US insist that it won’t be abused, but we can look to China — and the fact that many of the proposed regulations we’re seeing today originated as part of China’s Great Firewall for censorship to see where they likely lead.

And who might those people be, exactly? In the USA they are the Anti Defamation League, the Catholic League, and all of those “empowered women” who descend from KKK roots.

Call them what they are: fascists and communists, indiscernible in any substantive way one from another; both occupying either end of the horse shoe. But that didn’t start in China–that started when Marx/Hegel/et al. created the dialectic to challenge christian fascists. Today, they are indiscernible, one from the other.

Naughty Autie says:

Re:

But honestly, it wasn’t China who invented internet censorship–that is part of the wider, left-wing assault on bad ideas via political correctness, speech policing and so on.

And yet it was Adolf Hitler who made laws requiring people to wear yellow six-pointed stars and upside-down black triangles on their coats from 1939. You were saying?

DBA Phillip Cross says:

Re: Re:

Right–and Hitler was a left wing ideologue. A socialist. Your point? But we are talking about the origins of internet censorship–which has roots in Comstock laws, and US soldiers getting pictures of pretty naked ladies in the mail.

As for Hitler, a brief history of socialism reveals that corporate and particularly the Rothschild-British crown, aka British Israel works hard to destroy non-Jewish socialists, similar to how these same interests work to destroy libertarians. Hitler merely adopted the racism that was popular with other socialists of his era, radical Zionism to be specific.

Today, we have sex offenders, ex-cons, deadbeat parents, and others who are flagged in the American system wearing different types of stars in their Fusion Center dossiers– a two-tiered society that no one talks about too openly.

We have growing watchlists, and black and brown people who do not even need to wear a star, due to the color of their skin, and racism in the USA-FVEY’s.

Certainly, an argument could be made that counter-terrorism programs, the prison industrial complex, Big Pharma, and the DVIC are merely a type of concentration camp–a different type of slavery, experiment, or marking–a roundup, with equally bad results.

And–what does Godwin’s Law have to do with China falling through the center of the earth anyways?

Putting the origin of internet censorship at the feet of China’s Great Firewall is disingenuous–the origins were much earlier than that. In fact, China lagged behind the censorious US Military by a few years, to whit:

1998 – China’s Ministry of Public Security launches the “Golden Shield” initiative to limit citizens’ access to material seen as disruptive to country leadership. The Golden Shield grows into the “Great Firewall of China,” one of the world’s most comprehensive internet censorship programs.

Note that this was three years after the US Navy launched cybertools like onion routing to enable spying, and disrupt other nations and economies; and two years after the US enacted so-called “decency” standards, censorship by any other name.

So, unarguably, the US was involved in attempts to use internet in nefarious ways, and part of that was to censor speech online. China followed that lead, wisely anticipating the color revolutions and other US-FVEY’s propaganda wars. China has taken steps to stop NSA/CIA/NED infiltration of its networks.

Nations that were destroyed during color revolutions and the like did not anticipate these assaults on their societies. And look how that’s turned out? All this talk about “democracy” in the forever war nations is nauseating–plutocracy, spookocracy, and police states is what are left in the wake of those who whinge about “freedom” while bombing, starving, sanctioning, and otherwise destroying nations.

Talmyr says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, Hitler was a fascist, an extreme (alt) right-winger who used the label of National “Socialism” to appeal to a wider base – but the left-wingers were the ones his Brownshirts loved to attack, and whom he led the first purges against. It is also why he wanted to destroy Stalin’s USSR and Communism.

And before you spout any more clueless garbage, look at which groups in Murikkka sport Nazi Swastikas regularly. Hint: It isn’t the Left (who aren’t even very left – AOC and Bernie are pretty centrist by European comparison).

DBA Phillip Cross says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Re:

look at which groups in Murikkka sport Nazi Swastikas regularly

Um, Buddhists, maybe?

Navajo’s?

Other ethnicities that seek to acknowledge the peaceful roots of that symbol?

Or…Weev, the hacker, aka Andrew Alan Escher Auernheimer, and a chronic ADL-FBI-B’nai B’rith target(and Alan Ginsburg doppelganger, BTW), who is a direct descendant of Jewish supremacist and the Father of Zionism, Theodor Herzl? Yeah–that guy, sporting a huge swastika after the ADLfeds jailed him is the webmaster for the Stormer.Daily.

Or were you meaning to infer that “white supremacists” like the FBI informant and leader of the Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio is somehow not part indigenous, and Latino– a tool of the subversion of that “movement”?

Hitler was THAT kind of activist too, with similar associations, but more on the left, and ideologically a socialist.

As we see, no real left is possible, because British Israel, and B’nai B’rith always co-opt it with their secret police and their dmestic spy racketeer’s in organizations like the ADL. Similar things were in play in Hitler’s time too–and surely in Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, or Stalin’s time and even in Ecuador todayconservative and neo-liberals use the police state to crush the actual left at all times–there is no real left, and cannot be one.

Look-if symbols are allowed to be co-opted en masse by radical Zionists and others similarly situated along the racist, fascist spectrum, there will only be one symbol left–Moloch and his pointy hoofed imprint on everyones forehead.

But for my money, I don’t ask the guy with the skull busted by the baton what the politics of the baton beat down agent are–because from a left perspective, everyone else is on the right, and we know who co-opts the actual left, in every generation. Hitler knew that too–the British-Israel world configuration has won the last few millennia, which is why he likely did some co-option himself.

So, rejecting Hitler means we also must reject Herzl and his ilk too. Both were racists, and both stood for genocide, and racial supremacy. Both felt they were chosen in some fashion to spread that message of hate. Both took direct and indirect action to cause genocides. Both ideologies sought/seek to take over the world.

I arrived at my conclusion after detoxifying my mind and body of the constant cycles of forever war propaganda and Holocaust Industry narratives, and hey, IMHO, I cannot tell the difference between racists, religious fanatics, and supremacists of any stripe or symbol.

DBA Phillip Cross says:

Re: Re: Re:4

Well why be indirect, then? Talmyr said “sport” not “wear.”Sporting something can imply its use as an accessory of some kind, like a ring, or a tattoo.

And TBH, the only time I ever saw it “sported” very openly was when a Jewish guy named Frank Cohen marched with it through Skokie, IL. You can read more about that here, as the Times of Israel asks “Why do so many Jews hate Jews?”

The symbol itself needs to be put back into its natural historical, and spiritual place. But I don’t think that can be done by censoring it, and denying it’s meaning to many ethnic groups around the world. Creating taboos is a special type of magic, and I don’t think magic puts things in their proper place.

Denying its use to those who have used it for thousands of years before der Fuhrer makes me the censor, doesn’t it? As many say–the answer is in more true speech, not magic, disinformation, or lies–and censorship always follows the latter.

Lastly–who even says “chump” anymore? Did you just say that somewhere? Seriously….it’s like James Cagney just came back from the grave, wafting through the ether on black and white television signals “chump THIS! and Chump THAT!” Then he gets taken down, or goes on a ride to Sing-Sing sneering the whole time “You’ll never get me coppers!”

Seriously…

DBA Phillip Cross says:

Re: Re: Re:6

Your point is taken. But can you get the link where The Daily Stormer posts Weev’s tatoo? Yup–nope.

Again, it’s all brainscrubbing, by known racists, and their extremely well financed internet operations that include brainwashing tools like:

  • The SPLC hate map( who in their right mind would NOT hate such people? The co-opters of the left, in action).
  • anything with B’nai B’rith or the ADL associated with it–gangs descended from criminals, operating as social do-gooders, with lies and smear campaigns front and center.
  • special British-Israel, FBI-ADL tools like Moonshot CVE to assist in brainwashing—a truly Orwellian/GCHQ/Langleyan excess by any stretch.
  • the list goes on and on.

Look! Two “neo-Nazi’s,” both the direct product of Jewish racism–Weev, and Milo

This is not an accident-this is a Freudian reaction formation to Jewish racism. Jewish supremacist narratives–all Nazi ideology is only that. Curiously, all Nazi ideology is also spouted by Jews too–and surprisngly, their policies of us v. them carried out by the Mossad, and their “little helpers” in the White Helmets, et al. This is why they call such heinous one-worldism “the ZOG.”

DBA Phillip Cross says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Facts are a matter of opinions. Hitler was a product of several.

Here’s one:

National Socialism had some notable socialist and left-wing planks and philosophies behind it

The rest is just influence operations, perception management, and so on, aka “brainwashing” of the masses to accept a “fact,” or a set of them. In his days as an artist, I am certain he felt differently than during his days as der Fuhrer.

And frankly, you Godwinnned this conversation–an endless waste of time, as the last centuries brainwashing would have you and I going over this forever–it’s why the Hitlerisms exist online, to keep people stuck in “100 years ago,” as opposed to looking forwards.

I live in this century.

Right here, right now, history has repeated itself, but it’s not Hitler causing me stress, following my every word online, or censoring my speech.You can guess who that might be, but I sketched it out above.

Raziel says:

Re: Re: Re:

And–what does Godwin’s Law have to do with China falling through the center of the earth anyways?

What does Godwin’s Law have to do with Autie pointing out surveillance and censorship worse than any engaged in before or since, including that of the Chinese government? Godwin’s Law is only invoked when raising the Nazis to compare something to them when it’s not as bad. Ask Mike Godwin himself if you don’t believe me. Nice attempt at censorship of a view you disagree with, though.

DBA Phillip Cross says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Disagreement is definitely NOT censorship–did you seriously just say that?

Like, that one time when you say “meh, skip this comment, it will end with a turd in your eye,” and you read it anyways, and yup–turd in your eye. That’s a type of censorship, only by applying a huge definition stretcher–AND CENSORSHIP IS ALSO ABOUT STATE POWER.

What we see often times online, however, is censorship-by-proxy. Not the same thing, but with a similar affect, the latter being FAR more dangerous to democracy.

….well, what Mike Godwin intended, and now, what the common meaning is are two different things, as language evolves. Its been over 30 years since that term worked its way into the mainstream. Invoking Nazi’s out of the blue is definitely a Godwin. Here’s the very first entry after a search online:

the theory that as an online discussion progresses, it becomes inevitable that someone or something will eventually be compared to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis, regardless of the original topic

Its been over ten millennia that the swastika has been etched on stones, caves, mammoth ivory, and cows horns. It’s been about three days since that Godwin, and about eight minutes since I met you–how do you do?

As for Autie, let them speak for themselves. You see they have replied.

Then, about this

Autie pointing out surveillance and censorship worse than any engaged in before or since, including that of the Chinese government

I am not sure that is what they were doing. I have no evidence of that–it seems like a first year student error or something.

But yes–the US-FVEYs surveillance and full blown police state is DEFINITELY worse than China, and on a par with Russia, because the Chinese do in fact put a TON of effort into creating a safe society– whereas Russian Oligarchs are pretty much siphoning humanity out of the souls of the average Russian EXACTLY as the usual suspects are doing in the US-FVEY’s.

As we see now, the neocon’s in the US are merely fascists, and those exist in communist countries too. The rest is just labeling theory, tossed into a salad of ahistorical, pseudo-historical, and revisionist narratives, with pop psychology applied thicker than greasy spoon mayonaise, so it all slides down easier–never mind the heartburn.

DBA Phillip Cross says:

Re: Re: Re:4

Yeah, I **DID* *just say that, if the record you cite is clear– peole like you are fascists, with binary outcomes–no possibillity od consensus in any way.

You are a SPERG-FUCK ASSSLAVE, SO WHO CARES WHAT YOU THINK? YOU, THERE, IN THE CAMPS, OPENING YOUR ASS FOR NAZI DOCTORS–ITS WHAT YOU SPERGS DO.

OOOPS/ CAPSLOCK FAIL. WITH PURPOSE.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

It started during the 90’s. as the gender feminists. “empowered women” and “you can’t say the N*word!” types united with the far-right neocons to censor speech, and so, here we are.

McCarthy would like to say he helped made it worse. In the 50s. During the Cold War.

The assault on ideas is a right-wing tool. Always has been. Please keep your anti-Jewish conspiracy theories that were clearly not fed to you by the CCP at the door.

DBA Phillip Cross says:

Re: Re:

Um, whatever. Everyone knows that you post as AC because you are A CONVICTED PEDOPHILE.

Meanwhile, waiting for my actual response to clear FVEY’s GHQ. Until then–wow, I really feel sorry for what you creepers go through after your release! The US-FVEY’s is so “not democratic,” in any substantive way.

DBA Phillip Cross says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Hilarious. An AC suing anyone–I would welcome such a suit for the irony alone.

But seriously, slinging antisemite around randomly isn’t kosher. My retort *is the only proper response for those who use the term so loosely, from anonymous positions all over the place

Like swastika hoaxing, and thousands of fake bomb threats called in from Israel during election season, these things are not good for our societies, or our discourse.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Far worse.

Singapore’s lawyers would never take the case simply because I’m gonna be suing a person in the employ of the Chinese Communist Party as one of their virtual bad-faithers. And the case would never see even the law ministry, much less in front of an actual judge, because Singapore is too pussy to criticize it’s current master, Xi Jinping.

Besides, his handler clearly hasn’t told him the latest news aboit people outside of China.

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