Information censorship to be strengthened in China, supported by tech firms
China seeks to increase their control of infomation across the internet, specifically social media, and claims to "stop the spread of harmful infomation", according to state news agency Xinhua.
Chinese tech giants including Sina Corp and Alibaba took part in a three-day meeting which concluded with a common consensus amongst all leaders to “conscientiously safeguard the broadcasting of positive messages online” while helping to “curb the spread of rumours online, online pornography, fraud and the illegal spread of harmful information on the Internet.
A key method is to invest in "tracking surveillance", which helps to keep up-to-date with the sentiments of users of micro blog services such as "Weibo" and remove infomation unfavorable to the ruling party before it spread to local or foreign news.
This move may be seen as a strong response to a recent string exposure of events which highlights the behaviour of China and the government in less favourable light. These includes a surveillance video footage showing a child in a hit-and-run accident involving a van, followed by many pedestrians who completely ignore the plight of the child, as well as a badly mismanagement of a high speed rail accident.
China may be seeing more enforced and official regulations as it will be controlled directly from the top of the governmental system, in addition to the strict regulation of infomation regulation teams for each individual service.
In addition to the regulation kept by "information control" teams in each individual service, the government may be having more official influence over censorship decisions in the future.
While these are not new to the increasing web savy population, it faces strong opposition as the younger generation of the population who will probably want to retain the level of freedom they had before. With over 100 million users in some of these services, it is easy to speculate a drastic change in reception depending on the level of censorship imposed.