Every once and a while a new law comes about that reminds me of just how good we have it here in the United States. On October 1st 2017, new laws in China will officially take effect for the first time, seemingly attempting to accomplish the impossible; restoring order to and cleaning up peoples attitudes on social media.
Though the primary aim of the law is to stop people from posting Anonymously or using an alias to publish material online, as reported by BleepingComputer.com, “The government says it has taken this step to prevent “pornographic, false advertising, bloody violence, insults, slander, the disclosure of personal details, and other illegal information” that might pollute online content.” While it will not necessarily be “illegal” to post a comment violating these ideals, the act can reportedly result a full investigation at the hands of Chinese Government officials.
Chinese Internet Users Forced to Reveal Real Names When Posting Online https://t.co/H6t3nCKdMG
— Softpedia (@Softpedia) August 28, 2017
Additionally, as reported by Softpedia News, “according to the new regulations, websites and services would have to investigate any user who might be using a fake identity and store all the data for government inspection should it be required.” Adding that “Users posting comments online are not allowed to oppose the principles of China’s constitution or damage the national honor and interests, the new rules state. Furthermore, spreading rumors or disrupting social order is also forbidden, and so is inciting national hatred and undermining national unity.”
It is yet another strict measure to be passed by Chinese leaders in regards to internet regulation over recent months and years. Two years ago the Chinese Government tried a separate, but similar, piece of legislation taking aim at cracking down on Anonymous accounts online, requiring web user to verify their accounts through personal phone numbers that are attached to their real names. Just a few months ago, China also made international headlines after the Government made VPN ownership illegal throughout the country so that Chinese citizens would not be able to bypass the “Great Firewall of China” as it currently exists. This measure will soon take effect in February of 2018.
While China’s newest law could be interpreted as harsh, just remember that many companies in the United States have also started implementing similar policies of their own. For example, in response to the fake news epidemic that erupted throughout the US Presidential election of 2016, American tech companies such as Google have “blacklisted” any news website that publishes content Anonymously and similarly enough, Facebook has also stopped accepting money to advertise postings from users or pages whom do not have a real or confirmed identity.