The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), in another crackdown on online content deemed harmful, removed nearly 10,000 social media accounts held by non-official news providers as part of a censorship campaign started last month, Reuters reported.
In a statement CAC explained the accounts were removed for violations including “spreading politically harmful information”, the news agency said.
The regulator also warned the heads of the country’s largest social media companies including Tencent’s Wechat and Sina-owned Weibo, that “the chaos among self-media accounts has seriously trampled on the dignity of the law and damaged the interests of the masses”.
Reuters said “self-media” refers to independent news accounts which are not officially registered. Many are widely popular, offering edgy commentary on everything from political news to celebrity gossip.
The crackdown has targeted illegal content including pornography and malicious information, but some commentators complain others were removed for their critical views, Reuters said.
Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, the country has passed numerous new laws designed to tighten censorship rules and ensure online views toe the Communist Party’s line. Over the past three years, more than 13,000 websites were shut down to “maintain a clean cyberspace”, South China Morning Post previously reported.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back