China’s Internet Authority Shuts Up Two News Outlets for a Day

Posted Date 01/08/18

China’s Internet Authority Shuts Up Two News Outlets for a Day

The Cyberspace Administration of China has ordered two news outlets to shut down parts of their feed for publishing vulgar content. According to the watchdog, Toutiao and Phoenix News had "broadcast pornographic and vulgar information, had serious issues of misguiding people, and had an evil influence on the ecosystem of online public discourse."

The CAC motivated its decision with the fact that the two news outlets had not received license to produce and distribute news content, which is a requirement in the country, along with the appointment of editors that have been approved by the state. Still, the suspension was not a permanent one: The two platforms were ordered to suspend some of their news feeds for 24 hours.

From another perspective, however, the move could be seen as the latest attempt by Beijing to keep online content under control, reducing the space for social dissent and government criticism. Foreign platforms including Facebook and YouTube are already banned in China.

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