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China orders internet users to use real names for video uploads

Rights groups have criticised the move saying it allows the Chinese government to further control freedom of expression.

Image: Alexander F. Yuan/AP/Press Association Images

THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT has clamped down on web anonymity by requiring users to register their real names before they upload videos.

Reuters reports that the rule was passed on Monday with China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) saying it was to “prevent vulgar content, base art forms, exaggerated violence and sexual content in internet video having a negative effect on society.”

Rights groups have criticised the move saying it’s another tool for the ruling Communist Party to limit criticism of it and further control freedom of expression.

The country had been considering the idea of getting internet users register with their real name more than a year ago after it submitted a draft proposing an identity management policy.

In September, it passed anti-defamation laws designed to reduce the spread of rumours and misinformation on social media sites like Sina Weibo, a site similar to Twitter.

The government has also tried implementing similar registration for buying SIM cards and signing up for instant messaging app WeChat. However, it has had trouble implementing these rules and were easy to avoid for China’s web-savvy population.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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