back to article China outsources censorship to web giants to break the fake news business model

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has announced new requirements for platforms, to prevent accounts that spread fake news or misinformation from monetizing their content. Revealed on Monday, the 13 rules apply to "self-media" – publishers and social media accounts not operated or approved by government, and …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Publishing negative information and customer disasters"

    Oh, so only good product reviews are allowed ?

    I'd think that those "self media" platforms would be happy about that.

  2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Some of that surprisingly makes sense: time, location and a "real" flag for a newsworthy photo would make sense; people claiming to be medical professionals and suggesting you should regularly inject Yak urine whilst sticking you fingers into an electrical socket for "hair like Boris" should not make it to any publishing outlet.

    Then little snippets like banning negative news and reviews and having to state the source of photographs show the stone cold hand of state censorship ...

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      There's definitely a place for legislation that says "if you can't do it offline then you can't do it online either".

      The real problem with this legislation for people in China is the very long list of things you can't do offline.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There is another key

      Which is the scope of censorship. A less draconian society might be happy demonetizing some classes of speech, while saving the hard blocks for crime, promoting dangerous actions, and medical misinformation. There is also some room for a middle ground where it caps rebroadcasting, sharing, or recommending someone's post while leaving it to be viewed by those looking for it or subscribed to their feed. Or in allowing people easy tools to let users perma-block content that annoys them.

      It's about time for people to start losing patience with the BS arguments these clowns are using. It didn't fly for spammers or for malware, and most other forms of fraud. Rules shouldn't be that different for online services or social media.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There is another key

        might be happy demonetizing some classes of speech

        This. Free speech - yes. Getting paid to stir and spread lies - no. Show me your money and that your public support is real, not virtual.

        It is shocking that democratic processes are being replaced with online troll mob, where you cannot prove that the one who "voted" was a real person.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great acronym...

    I want to call any announcement from them CACophonix now

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My new Weibo based tribute to Pooh Bear still hasn’t been launched.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    China's regulators doing their job. While the Western ones are sleeping

    Here is a business model of a typical YouTube political troll. It is usually a talented, even a famous person with likely skeletons in the closet. Some of those persons you would immediately suspect of low morals or drug addiction. For an adversary intelligence it is a small task to threaten such person with some blackmail, but also offer a deal, which would consist of hidden media support of their YouTube channel. The media support consists of massive fake comments and likes, back links etc. In return the talented troll gets lots of monetizable traffic and views. From now on there is no clear financial relationship between the troll and the foreign financing. The political super-troll gets paid through legal ad revenue. Smaller useful idiots may work just for money.

    Typical topics of the super-troll: "THEY are lying to us", stirring sensitive (thus popular) news, promoting public unrest, painting certain politicians black or white - this is often visible at the video headline picture, promulgating chaotic world view by spreading rumors and event interpretations with the goal to saw doubt in the government and established institutions or democratic process, to flood information space with noise.

    One tool to spot a troll is to check back-links with SEO tools, such as

    To test this approach, here is an example with a suggestive channel name:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: China's regulators doing their job. While the Western ones are sleeping

      On related topic check Yuri Bezmenov lectures from 1980s on how "active measures" were used then, and likely used today too.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Point the bone where it belongs

      Yeah , our regulators are toothless, but that's because people like Idjit Pai, congress, and the last several presidents were more concerned with the stacks they rake in from lobbyists. EU is running circles around us on that front, as usual(thanks Max!).

      But the core of this is that the regulators are on a short leash, and the ones holding it have ingested a giant pile of toxic political misinformation(for the ones not literally acting as foreign agents.) That is mostly congress at this point, which block any attempts at reforms, saying more oversight is unnecessary, while at the same time promoting the idea there is a sinister conspiracy to censor them whenever their attempts to parrot Saudi, Israeli, Russian or Chinese talking points is called out.

      We clean up congress the rest of this will go easier. Get one clean candidate on your parties primary ticket, doesn't matter which. Doesn't matter if your party has a safe seat and an incumbent. Your party owes you a choice. A presumptive candidate isn't a choice, and most of them are in fact a turd sandwich. The biggest one the party thinks you will choke down.

      Nothing gets done because we re-elect obstructionists, shills, and lying con-men, as long as they are in whatever party we signed up for. Stop and this gets better.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like