China is cracking down on “inappropriate” online video content. A recent report from The People’s Daily states that two government agencies — The State Internet Information Office and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television — issued a statement informing online video providers like Sina and Youku, who just announced a deal with NBC, that they will be held liable for all content posted to their platform.
According to the report, “the circular was issued upon requests from the public, as videos with vulgar or obscene content are believed by the public to have had a negative impact on both the mental health of young people and the development of online video content providers.”
The two agencies are reportedly okay with “good” web series and films that can help develop a positive web culture, reports The Next Web. However they do feel that “some online programs contain seriously vulgar and violent content. A few shows even use lewd and gory scenes as a publicity stunt, stirring up controversy on the internet.”
“Netizens urged the government to protect child viewers from those disturbing and misleading pictures. So the intention is to build a healthy environment for online programming,” it added.
Both agencies have urged platform providers to moderate content where necessary to avoid such content from getting out. If the platforms don’t corporate the agencies have warned that “punishments will be handed out to video sites that are found not to carry out the censoring task”.
China’s internet landscape is one of the strictest in the world. It has been actively blocking content from social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube through its Great Firewall.