• 1 day COVID Vaccine Distribution Would Be A Big Win For Amazon
  • 3 days Under COVID, The Rich Got Richer
  • 5 days Will Biden Lift Sanctions On Venezuela?
  • 5 days How To Play The Next Stage Of The Marijuana Boom
  • 6 days India Looks To Import More Venezuelan Oil Under Biden
  • 6 days 3 Unstoppable Stocks With A Biden Boost
  • 6 days The Biggest Biotech Story Of 2021?
  • 7 days Biden Looks To Rejoin Paris Climate Agreement
  • 7 days Capital One Fined Again For Money-Laundering Failure
  • 7 days The Star-Studded Fund Backing Clean Energy Startups
  • 8 days The Unexpected Retail Segment On Track To Hit $68B
  • 11 days Oil Demand Falters On New Wave Of Lockdowns
  • 11 days Signal, Telegram Gain Ground As Social Censorship Breaks Headlines
  • 12 days Investors Should Be Worried About Tech Stocks
  • 14 days Battle For Market Share Intensifies In COVID Streaming War
  • 16 days Censorship Is Now Private, And That’s Scary
  • 19 days Markets Hit ‘Ignore’ Over Capitol Coup
  • 20 days Tesla’s China Strategy Is Yet Another ReasonTo Double Down
  • 22 days NYSE Reverses China Company Delisting Plans … For Now
  • 23 days The Dollar Could Remain Weak For Years To Come
Delivery Drones Are Coming Sooner Than You Think

Delivery Drones Are Coming Sooner Than You Think

The world’s largest retailer, Walmart,…

TikTok Is Becoming A New Battleground For Tech Politics

TikTok Is Becoming A New Battleground For Tech Politics

The China connection has consistently…

TikTok Takes Center Stage In US-China Tech War

TikTok Takes Center Stage In US-China Tech War

Trump set September 15 as…

Damir Kaletovic

Damir Kaletovic

Writer, Safehaven.com

Damir Kaletovic is an award-winning investigative journalist, documentary filmmaker and expert on Southeastern Europe whose work appears on behalf of Safehaven.com.

Contact Author

  1. Home
  2. Tech
  3. Tech News

China Tightens Internet Controls

CHina

Last October, at the opening of a Communist Party summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping said: "China will build a clean and clear internet space". Without any explanation, these words dispersed into the cosmos where they waited for clarity.

Now we know what he meant, and the clarification came in early September, when Beijing announced it was preparing a new set of rules designed to control the internet—that tyrannical beast that can truly only be harnessed by tyranny itself.

With that in mind, the Chinese government has rolled out a new platform called ‘Piyao’, hosted by the country's Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission and state-run media outlet Xinhua.

It’s aim? To take out rumors and fake news disseminated online and control what Beijing considers disinformation. 

In its promotional video, Piyao--which means “refuting rumors” in Chinese, according to reports--has this message for citizens: “Rumours violate individual rights; rumours create social panic; rumours cause fluctuations in the stock markets; rumours impact normal business operations; rumours blatantly attack revolutionary martyrs.”

Piyao  claims it will broadcast only “real” news and source reports solely from state-owned media, government agencies or party-controlled newspapers.

And if it doesn’t sound that ominous, well … it is. It will integrate 40 “rumour-busting” websites into a single website controlled by the government.

The platform also offers the public a way to report fake news online, but its efforts will be bolstered further by the use of artificial intelligence to identify reports that are “false”—in other words, reports that are not originating from state-controlled sources.

In a meeting last month, Xi told representatives of state-run media that propaganda efforts needed to be prioritized heavily in order to “uphold a clean and righteous internet space”.

Or, from another perspective, it’s an exercise in restricting freedom of speech and quashing criticism of the Communist Party. Related: Amazon Falls After A Brief Stint In The $1 Trillion Club

"The increasing pressure to gain control over online media is longstanding, reflecting Xi's goal to treat online media in the same way as traditional media,” CNBC quoted Paul Triolo, of the Eurasia Group, as saying.

According to Radio Free Asia, there is an intense internal struggle within in the Communist Party over the “juicy political gossip” that circulates online. At the same time, authorities have lost control over social conflicts that have arisen due to online content.

In its 2017 annual report, Freedom House described China as “the world’s worst abuser of internet freedom” for the third consecutive year, with users punished for sharing sensitive news and commentary, and even imprisoned for anywhere from five days to 11 years.

If it sounds eerily familiar, that’s because it is. Trump himself is on the warpath against American social media and tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Twitter—all of which are making him look bad.

While there is no Communist Party to make this easier for Trump to control, the administration has said it is “looking into” whether Google, for one, is suppressing positive articles about the president and allegedly manipulating search results and rigging the search engine “so that almost all stories & news is BAD”.

And social media giants themselves are starting down the censorship path—at least when it comes to foreign content (largely Russian- and Iranian-linked) deemed to be peddling political influence. With this in mind, Beijing isn’t the only power seeking to leash the monster that is the internet, and that’s definitely the ethical quandary of our technological day.

By Damir Kaletovic for Safehaven.com

More Top Reads From Safehaven.com

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment