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New regulation requires internet service providers to take urgent measures against cyberbullying

By CAO YIN | | Updated: 2024-06-14 19:40
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Internet service providers have been required take urgent measures to handle information involving cyberbullying and report the serious cases to police as quickly as they can, according to a new regulation.

The regulation against cyberbullying was jointly issued on Friday by four authorities - the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the National Radio and Television Administration.

The 34-article document clarifies that if finding cyberbullying-related information, internet platforms should immediately stop transmission of them, with measures such as removal, blocking or disconnection web links to deal with the content.

The cyberbullying-related information also needs to be kept and reported to relevant departments, and if meeting serious cases, internet service providers should inform public security bureaus and assist them in investigation and the collection of evidence, noted the regulation that will take effective on Aug 1.

"Formulating the regulation is to meet the central leadership's requirement on purifying online environment and improving cyberspace governance, as well as to respond to public concerns on cyberbullying," the Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement.

For example, many national lawmakers, political advisors and netizens have called for formulating special laws or rules on cyberbullying over the past few years, as the country has seen lots of residents troubled with online attacks, or online attacks even causing mental problems or death.

While raising clear requirements to internet platforms, the regulation has also clarified that cyberbullying refers to illegal and harmful information posted to individuals through the internet in the form of text, images, audio or video, which contains the content that affects physical and mental health, such as insults, slander, rumors, incitement to hatred, intimidation, invasion of privacy, belittling or discrimination.

In addition, it urges online platforms to first deal with cyberbullying-related content involving juveniles, ordering them to establish or upgrade their systems to identify and prevent such information.

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