Beijing, Oct 17 (EFE).- The Chinese social media platform Weibo, known as the Chinese equivalent of to “reduce chaos” in cyberspace and “protect” users.
The news, advanced by several of those affected but without official confirmation by the platform, has generated mixed reactions in China, with more than 40 million views in the last two days, reported the official newspaper Global Times.
Some of Weibo’s users support the move as an effort to “combat misinformation and cyber violence,” while others express concern about the removal of online anonymity, arguing that it could infringe on their privacy.
The changes will initially apply to accounts covering topics such as politics, finance and entertainment, while those in areas such as food and cosmetics will be excluded.
The rollout will be gradual, starting with users who have more than one million followers by the end of October and extending to those with more than 500,000 before the end of December.
This measure is based on regulations issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China in July, which seek to strengthen the management of “autonomous media” and promote a healthy environment for online public opinions.
China’s Internet regulator has published interim regulations that will regulate the artificial intelligence sector, requiring that content created by chatbots and other generative models “reflect socialist core values” and not “undermine national unity.” “subvert the power of the State” or “incite to divide the country.”
Experts believe that displaying real names can help curb the spread of online misinformation and violence fueled by some influencers, while ensuring the authenticity of the content spread.
While many users are concerned about the lack of anonymity online and its impact on freedom of expression, many others argue that cyberspace is not a space for “outlaws” and that everyone must comply with the law and abide by the rights and obligations of all parts.
In 2017, the Cyberspace Administration of China required social media platforms to record users’ real names, but did not require them to be displayed on account pages.
China’s public security authorities closed more than 10,000 online accounts last July for spreading “false information”, in a new example of the country’s eagerness to control the information circulating in cyberspace.
China is the country with the most Internet users in the world, but at the same time one of those that exercises the greatest control over content: popular services in the rest of the world such as Google, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube have been blocked in the country for years.