Following a two-month investigation into alleged misinformation, illicit profiteering, and impersonation of state officials, among other “pronounced problems,” China’s cyberspace authority has deleted 1.4 million social media posts.
The Chinese Cyberspace Administration announced on Friday that it has terminated 67,000 social media accounts and erased hundreds of thousands of messages between March 10 and May 22 as part of a larger “rectification” drive.
China has targeted billions of social media accounts since 2021 in an effort to “clean” the cyberspace and make it simpler for authorities to manage.
The most recent crackdown targeted accounts on prominent Chinese social media platforms such as WeChat, Douyin, and Weibo that fit under the category of “self media,” which broadly refers to accounts that publish news that are not state-approved.
Beijing often arrests civilians and blocks accounts for publishing or distributing factual material deemed sensitive or critical of the Communist Party, government, or military, particularly when such information becomes viral.
According to CAC, nearly 8,000 of the 67,000 accounts that were permanently closed were removed for “spreading fake news, rumours, and harmful information.”
Around 930,000 other accounts received less severe punishments, ranging from being stripped of all followers to having their profit-making powers suspended or revoked.