China: Tightening control over Internet audio-visual content

Although Youtube has been unblocked, the China administration is determined to control audio and video content circulated in the Internet.

On March 30, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) issued an administrative notice, “Concerning the tightening of management on Internet audio-visual content”, to provincial and muncipal level administrative bodies. In the notice, it states that, according to the Regulation on the management of Internet audio-visual service, the following content should be banned from the Internet:

1. against constitutional principle;
2. damaging to national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity;
3. disclosure of state secret, harmful to state security, national honor and interest;
4. inciting ethic hatre, ethic discrimination, undermining ethic unity, culture and custom;
5. promoting cults and superstition;
6. disrupting social order and social stability;
7. inducing underage youth to commit crime; rendering violence, pornography, gambling and terrorist activities;
8. humiliating and slandering contents that violate citizen's privacy and rights;
9. harmful to social morale and national culture and tradition;
10. other contents that prohibited by other laws and regulations.

Under the regulation, Internet audio-visual content providers have to edit and delete the following content:

1. maliciously distorting Chinese culture, history and historical fact; maliciously distorting other countries’ history and disrespectful to human civilization and other countries’ civilization and customs;
2. deliberately ridiculing revolution leaders, heroic figures, significant historical figures, prominent figures inside and outside China;
3. maliciously ridiculing people's army, armed police, police, and judicial bodies; contents that show physical abuse and torturing of prisoners and criminals;
4. showing the arrogant and heroic side of criminal acts, details of crimes and investigation, image and voice of witnesses and whistle blowers;
5. advocating religious extremism, creating conflicts among different religions, sects, believers and non-believers that hurt people's feeling;
6. promoting fortune telling, fung-shui, exorcism treatment and other superstitious acts;
7. depicting nature disasters, accidents, terrorist acts, wars and disasters in a spoofing manner;
8. explicitly presenting promiscuity, rape, incest, necrophilia, prostitution, sexual perversion, masturbation and other similar acts;
9. showing or implicitly presenting sexual behavior and bodily intimacy;
10. deliberately exhibiting private parts of human bodies that covered up by body parts or small objects;
11. inducing sexual fantasy;
12. advocating unhealthy acts of extra marital sex, polygamy, one night stand, SM, exchanging partners, and etc.
13. titled and tagged with seductive words or pictures that associated with adult films, pornographic movies, AV, hidden video, nipple slip, and etc
14. agitating content related with homicide, extreme violence, abduction, drug, gambling, and supernatural phenomena;
15. excessive horrible image, subtitle, background music and sound effects;
16. demonstrating slaughtering of animals, and human consumption (eating) of protected animal species;
17. violating individual privacy;
18. positive presentation or presentation that encourage fight, humiliation and vulgar languages;
19. advocating negative and decadent life style, world view and value; exaggerating national backwardness and dark side of the society;
20. video clips that have been banned by SARFT;
21. violating the principle of relevant laws and regulations.

The regulation also demands all Internet audio-visual content providers to hire content management staffs for handling complaints and improve self-regulation system. Moreover, they have to apply for a number of permits from administration and abide to copyrights regulation.

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