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China deletes over 60,000 online accounts ahead of new regulation

By James Walker     Feb 27, 2015 in Technology
Some of China's largest online companies have been forced to delete over 60,000 accounts registered on their services ahead of the upcoming date for the introduction of new censorship and regulation of names used online.
From March 1, the newly-formed Cyberspace Administration of China will control all online content, taking over the roles of several separate state ministries who were previously tasked with this role. The aim is to prevent users from taking potentially offensive handles online and to enforce real-name registration.
Now major companies including Alibaba, Baidu and micro-blogging platform Weibo have been forced to take the drastic action against over 60,000 users because their usernames did not conform to the new regulations. Weibo has said that it intends to fully comply with the regulations and has formed a specialist team to identify and remove illegal information from its site.
Reasons offered for the deletion of the accounts included accusations of involving violence, pornography, links to terrorism and "misleading" names.
The new enforcement highlights China's regulation of the Internet. The number of Internet users in China has increased dramatically in recent years which has been reflected in the censorship of the technology, enforced more tightly since early 2013 when President Xi Jinping.
China regulates access to the Internet through a combination of censorship mechanisms known to many as the Great Firewall. It ensures that what the Chinese consume from the Internet is a "safe" sub-set of the material available and allows leaders to remove access altogether to some content forms. Typically, this power is used to prevent people viewing content that could cause them to lose faith in the ruling Communists.
The new name-regulating legislation comes after numerous failed attempts at convincing users to give their real name to services online. From March 1, the new laws will force users into accepting this policy.
More about Internet, Online, Censor, Censorship, Delete
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