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Stronger management urged over livestreaming platforms

By ZHAO XINYING | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-11-25 08:53
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Management over online show and livestreaming platforms should be more specific and detailed while providing space for more innovation, an expert said.

While strengthening management over such platforms and their hosts is very important, it's also necessary to encourage platforms and people making a living from this industry to create better content, Liu Yuanju, a researcher at the Shanghai Institute of Finance and Law, told China Daily on Tuesday when he was asked about a notice released by the National Radio and Television Administration on Monday.

According to the notice, online show and livestreaming platforms should implement real-name management for their hosts and users. Further, juveniles and those who don't register with their real names should not be allowed to tip hosts.

The platforms should take measures including the implementation of a real-name verification system and a face-recognition mechanism to ensure real-name management and to block channels that enable juvenile users to tip hosts, the notice stated.

The platforms should also set limits for the maximum tip or reward that users can give hosts. When a user's daily or monthly cumulative reward reaches half the limit, the platform should provide a consumption reminder. Users could only continue giving further rewards or tips to hosts after they confirm through a short messaging service or other methods, the notice said.

The reward function of the users will be suspended if the daily or monthly reward limit is reached, it added.

Wang Haifeng, mother of a 15-year-old boy in Beijing, applauded the actions.

"Online shows and livestreaming have been so popular, making me always feel worried that my son would become addicted to them or do something that is harmful to his growth," she said. "The strict management of online platforms and hosts would make a worrying parent like me feel safer."

Liu, who has long observed the development of such platforms, said the notice indicates that the government is strengthening management in an effort to reduce adverse effects on users, especially juveniles.

"I respect the intention and efforts to protect teenagers in cyberspace, but can we allow teenagers older than, say, 16 to have the right to give rewards while we protect them by setting a limit for the amount of the reward? In this way, we can encourage good content producers to continue generating high-quality content for teenagers and therefore foster a good relationship between content producers and consumers," he said.

Liu had also suggested in his previous research that for people who spend too much money giving tips or rewards to hosts, platforms should allow them to change their minds and ask for their money back within a period of time, for example 30 minutes.

The notice released on Monday showed an inclination in this direction. It stated that the platform should set a delay mechanism to keep rewards from reaching hosts too quickly. That way, if a host is found to be violating rules, the platform could return the rewards to the users.

The notice also urged that platforms should not adopt strategies that encourage users to give rewards or tips to hosts irrationally.

Any host who is found to be implying, inducing or encouraging users to give large rewards by hyping or spreading vulgar content will be put on a supervision list and reported to radio and television management authorities, it said.

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