The Cyberspace Administration of China drew strict regulations over governing online comments that came into effect on Thursday (Dec 16).
The cyber department said that these rules will help in protecting national security, public interest and citizens.
The rules were published last month. The new rules state, “Service providers shall… carry out a credit evaluation of users based on their commenting behaviour.”
It further stated that individuals who have been “seriosuly discredited” will be under ‘blackist,’ prohibiting them from commenting not even if they make a new account.
The Asian country with one of the most advanced technology has been under strict social media rules with a further threat to their freedom of expression.
Despite these social media platforms maintaining language, several too political, sensitive or insulting comments remain online.
The rules also stated that all users must register with their original names and phone numbers.
While the state media praised the new rules saying “the internet is not a lawless zone,” citizens objected to them.
One user on Weibo said, “It limits antisocial behaviour, rumours and online violence, but you also have to hear people’s aspirations and criticisms.”
Another user commented that the rules are not very detailed and “cut very wide.”
A third user commented, “We hardly criticise them at all and already they can’t stand it anymore.”
The rules were proposed before the Covid protests in China started. Despite such tight rules over media platforms, new rallies were still circulating in the country.
(With inputs from agencies)