Recently, The Cyberspace Administration shared a rather shocking revelation with the public stating that people had been using the three platforms majorly with the aim to spread terror-related material, rumours and obscenities which might disturb the status quo. The three platforms specifically are Wechat, Baidu and Weibo. And will soon be put under investigation. The administration deemed it to be a problem of concern, and has “jeopardised national security,”.
Authorities in China are putting pressure to censor, withhold and keep a check on the internet. They are consistently blocking any item, content or search words which might be sensitive.
What are these apps known for?
WeChat is pretty common with the masses today. It is an instant messaging app. Baidu Tieba is a major discussion platform or forum. And last but not the least. Weibo is similar to Twitter, like a micro blogging site. Garnering hundreds of millions of active users, it has silently turned into a terror-spreading platform.
The Administration of China’s Cyberspace is holding internet users for “spreading violence, terror, false rumours, pornography and other hazards to national security, public safety, social order” on these three three platforms.
Baidu has chosen defencse, that is why it was seen commenting “regret” and would “actively co-operate with government departments, increase the intensity of auditing”. But there was no comment given from Tencent which is the mother company owning Wechat and Weibo.
The system in China works a differently than any others. Posts are easily and readily traceable through the registered phone number of the person making the post, and most of the population is already aware of what topics to talk about and stay away from. But, even though, there is constant surveillance and arrest of certain topics before it gets to the public, but somehow some of the malice gets to the public’s eye. The authorities from Communist Party Congress is working to check these loose ends and patch them up. And the action to have an investigation on these three sites would surely shock the owners to conduct a stricter round of security and morality check.
Only last month, around 60 big celebrity gossip sites were sacked overnight as they defiantly violated the “core socialist values,” and a new regulation was proposed which would require all the new portals to be managed and checked by Communist Party-Sanctioned editorial stuff.
Watchdog Freedom House even ranked China as “the world’s worst abuser of internet freedom”. Circumstances have led the country to block foreign social media sites and apps, which includes Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Even the access to search engines like Google is blocked, singling out all those users who try to convene their way to breaking this strict check.