The government of China has declared that qualifications will be required for citizens who wish to post about certain topics, including health, finance and law, in yet another restriction on online speech in the communist dictatorship.
The new guidelines for online influencers also ban content that “weakens or distorts” the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), according to the South China Morning Post.
The 31 banned behaviours during live-streaming sessions include publishing content that weakens or distorts the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the socialist system or the country’s reforms and opening-up.
Other prohibited behaviours include using deepfake technologies to tamper with the images of party or state leaders, and deliberately “hyping up” sensitive issues and attracting public attention.
Live-streamers are also forbidden from showing an extravagant lifestyle, such as displaying luxury products and cash, the guideline said.
The guidelines were published by China’s National Radio and Television Administration and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism last week.
According to the South China Morning Post, online influencers in China will be required to possess “qualifications” to discuss a range of topics including medicine, finance, law, and education, although the guidelines do not specify what kind of qualifications will be required.
China has long been a poster child for state-enforced internet censorship. Its combination of censoring domestic platforms, and the blocking of foreign internet traffic, including access to major western platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia, is known as the “Great Firewall” of China.
Google infamously tried to re-enter the Chinese market in 2018, secretly working on a China-only search engine built to comply with the CCP’s censorship requirements, in what was known within the company as “Project Dragonfly.” Google ultimately canned the project following media scrutiny and bipartisan backlash from U.S. lawmakers.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election. Follow him on Twitter @LibertarianBlue.