China’s government plans to ban websites with ‘trolls’

Reuters/Ipsos Media-Center – China’s central government has promised to ban sites that host “troll” content and to close the online platforms of those who post it, the country’s official news agency said.

The move is part of an effort to “prevent internet users from engaging in the activities of online trolls” and to make “China’s Internet become a more stable environment for citizens to express their views and opinions”, according to Xinhua.

In a post on its Weibo microblogging service, China’s Ministry of Public Security said the government will also ban websites that “expose social or political issues, incite hatred, spread false news, and propagate hatred, hate, or violence”.

The measures are part of a wider government drive to fight “online extremism”, Xinhua said.

The state-run Chinese social media platform Weibo had seen a surge in reports of “trolling” and harassment after President Xi Jinping became president in March.

“Internet users are the best, most powerful weapon in countering online extremism, and we need to make sure they have a healthy Internet,” said Weibo CEO and former Alibaba boss Chen Shui.

But the announcement came just a day after another government watchdog said that online platforms that promote “hate speech” would be subject to the country “takedown process”.

Weibo, which was shut down in April, said it would “provide more details on the new measures” on Thursday.

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