China tightens regulations for videos, films produced by Internet sites

Authorities say some videos produced by China's Internet sites are vulgar and contain pornography

Chinese regulators are cracking down on inappropriate video and films made by the nation's Internet firms with new measures meant to encourage the production of more positive programs.

On Monday, China's State Administration of Radio Film and Television, along with the State Internet Information Office, issued a notice meant to both guide and standardize the "healthy development" of Internet series, short films and other online video and audio content.

As China's online video culture develops, a number of programs have been produced which feature vulgar, violent, and pornographic content, according to a statement authorities published online. Internet users have complained, calling for the protection of the nation's youth, according to the statement. At the same time, online video sites have asked the government to intervene in order to prevent the inappropriate videos from taking time away from more "excellent" programming, the statement said.

Authorities are requiring online video sites to better review videos for content before they go online for viewing. They also demand that online video industry groups provide better supervision and training for personnel that review videos before they are uploaded.

The state is encouraging videos and film series that "reflect the spirit of the times, promote goodness and beauty, and show what people love to see and hear," the statement said.

The new measures come as Chinese online video sites are producing more of their own original programs and films. The country's largest online video provider, Youku Tudou, has in the past created its own short film series, which became a hit among users. Youku Tudou declined to comment on the new government measures.

China is well known for heavily censoring the Internet for inappropriate and anti-government content, as well as pornography. Internet sites in the country often devote staff to screening out content government censors would not allow.

Regulators in the country, however, have often taken additional steps to control content. For example, authorities are gradually requiring China's Twitter-like sites implement real-name systems for user accounts, a move experts believe will make users more weary to voice controversial opinions.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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