16:41 GMT +321 November 2019
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    The chinese app Weibo's logo is displayed on a tablet in Paris. (File)

    China Investigating 3 Major Social Networks Over Offensive Content

    © AFP 2019 / LIONEL BONAVENTURE
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    The Chinese government has put the country's three largest social media platforms, namely WeChat messenger, Twitter's twin Weibo and Tieba communication platform, under investigation, charging them with the violation of legislation that ban content deemed offensive or sensitive, Cyberspace Administration of China said Friday in a statement.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) —  According to the statement, the investigation encompasses three companies which manage the country's major social media platforms: Tieba's owner Baidu, Tencent Holdings Group, which controls WeChat, and Weibo Corporation.

    "Users [of the social media] spread rumors, pornographic content, calls for terrorism and violence and other data that violate the social order and pose a threat to the national and social security," the statement says, adding that the companies managing the networks failed to block offensive content from their platforms, including some which insulted China's Communist Party.

    The governmental Internet watchdog asks social media users to report about illegal publications to the agency.

    A number of the largest global websites and Internet services are officially banned in China, including Google services, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The country has several major home-run social media players, which replace globally popular services on the enormous Chinese Internet market.

    In June 2017, China enacted a new cybersecurity law, which rules that sensitive information related to the country's national security — which many consider a vague definition — has to be stored on servers within the country's territory. Although these regulations impose a significant financial toll on Internet services providers, the government argues that the law will protect private information of Internet users and ensure the country's cybersecurity.

    Tags:
    social networks, web users, investigation, cyberspace, internet, Baidu, Sina Weibo, China
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