The Chinese Cyberspace Administration (CAC) has recently announced the removal of 1.4 million social media posts as part of a strict crackdown on “self-media” accounts.
Over a period of two months, the CAC carried out a thorough investigation targeting various offenses, including the spread of misinformation, illegal profiteering, and the impersonation of government officials.
In a statement released on Friday, the CAC revealed that between March 10 and May 22, it shut down 67,000 social media accounts and eliminated hundreds of thousands of posts, as part of a comprehensive “rectification” campaign.
China has been actively implementing a strategy to cleanse its online space and enhance control by authorities. Since 2021, the country has focused on regulating billions of social media accounts.
The recent crackdown specifically targeted “self-media” accounts, which are independent news and information publishers not affiliated with the government or approved by the state.
Prominent Chinese social media platforms such as WeChat, Douyin, and Weibo were the main focus of this operation.
The Chinese government has a history of arresting citizens and censoring accounts that share or spread factual information considered sensitive or critical of the Communist Party, government, or military, especially when such content becomes viral.
According to the CAC, out of the 67,000 permanently closed accounts, nearly 8,000 were removed for disseminating fake news, rumors, and harmful content.
Moreover, around 930,000 other accounts faced lesser penalties, ranging from losing followers to temporary suspension or revocation of profit-making privileges.
In a separate campaign, the regulator recently shut down over 100,000 accounts that were reportedly misrepresenting news anchors and media agencies, countering the rise of online fake news facilitated by AI technologies.
The CAC’s latest efforts also focused on approximately 13,000 fraudulent military accounts with names like “Chinese Red Army Command,” “Chinese Anti-terrorist Force,” and “Strategic Missile Force.”
Another 25,000 accounts were identified for impersonating public institutions such as disease control centers and state-run research institutes.
Additionally, approximately 187,000 accounts faced consequences for pretending to be news media outlets, while over 430,000 were accused of offering professional advice or educational services without the necessary qualifications.
Approximately 45,000 accounts were closed for generating hype around trending topics, seeking popularity, and engaging in illegal monetization.
The CAC highlighted its active collaboration with public security and market supervision departments to deal a significant blow to illegal “self-media” accounts. It also called on internet users to actively participate in monitoring and reporting such illicit activities, encouraging collective efforts to maintain a clean and regulated online environment.