ID Now Required to Post Videos Online in China
ID Now Required to Post Videos Online in China

Censoring films and television programs was not enough for the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT)—the official censorship agency of the Chinese regime. A new rule now requires that anyone who uploads a video to the Internet submit real identification.

SARFT stated in a notice on Jan. 20 that Internet video and audio program servers must “strictly guard the pass” for the upload of content. This refers to China’s YouTube-like websites that include Youku, Tudou, and Ku6, among others. There are up to 428 million users of these websites, Chinese media reports say. YouTube is blocked in China.

The notice said that videos uploaded need to be logged in a database, and that any content that SARFT believes “does not comply with the relevant provisions of the state” must be “immediately taken down.”

And if the bad videos are created by television companies, heads will roll.

The authorities appear to be mainly targeting the potential for the major Internet portals to spread viral video of official abuses rapidly, to millions of people. Chinese Internet users can still put videos on the Internet—but the spread will be limited to their personal blog or private channel, and won’t get a wide audience. Only those who put in their Chinese ID will receive significant traffic.

Censorship authorities may be responding to the “mini-films” and popular Internet series made by small movie studios in recent years. Often these have featured films mocking the Communist Party, or government policies. These studios will now be burdened with the need to obtain operating licenses.

Officially, all this is to “avoid vulgar, low-style violence, and pornographic content” that has a “negative impact on society,” the authorities said. China’s censors wish to “create a civilized and healthy Internet environment.”

Political training and education programs will also be held, to guide Internet filmmakers to “adhere to the correct orientation.”

China’s Internet users were generally appalled at the fresh restrictions. Most of the comments on Sina Weibo, a popular online platform, are complaining and attacking SARFT for further curtailing their already limited freedoms online.

A number of Chinese Internet users postulated that the new move was aimed at stamping out the deluge of videos showing Communist Party officials in compromising sexual acts with women they are not married to. A series of such videos has emerged in the last couple of years, causing great embarrassment to the Party members targeted, and the Party as a whole.

The most recent target of a scandalous video of this nature was the president of the Shaanxi Provincial Communist Party School, Qin Guogang. Video and pictures of Qin with a female student were leaked online earlier this month. The Party School is supposed to be the ideological bastion of communism in China.

A netizen remarked: “This is a new trick to avoid scandalous videos of officials from being revealed.”

  • rg9rts

    They stole the idea from Huffington Post

  • lmtdis

    With monopolies like Verizon etc recently given free reign to control Internet access and content – compliments of our corporately co-opted FCC and legislators – coupled with the Facebook-ID required by many U.S. sites just to comment – which DOES stifle free speech – seems we’re not too far off from a similar scenario either.

    There will be always be greedy pigs like those in China who would repress the rights of the many for the personal advantage of the sociopathic few i.e. deny basic freedoms to all but themselves (the ruling elite) which in China’s case is thinly disguised as “The People’s Republic”.

    May those who desire truly representative govt eventually overthrow the ruling sociopaths of China & the world i.e. anywhere the ruling 1% attempts to deny we-the-people the lifeblood of democracy as expressed in the 1st and 4th Amendments: freedom of expression which is impossible without protection of our rights to privacy as well.

  • gmb007

    How long before this comes to America?

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