China is looking to impose strict rules on those who love the internet. The government is promising, once again, to force people to use their real names online and to ban impersonations.
This is just the latest move of the Chinese government, which is seen as extra strict on the internet since the new president came to power in 2013. However, this isn’t the first time the authorities have tried to impose a ban on accounts and usernames that impersonate institutions and officials. So far the authorities have had limited impact when applying these rules.
The new version of the rules will be applied starting on March 1, and internet accounts that impersonate people or organizations, government bodies, state officials and so on will be banned. Just like everywhere else, numerous parody accounts for government and even foreign leaders constantly pop up online in China, and the state fears that they spread “rumors and misinformation”.
Weibo, WeChat and other popular service are among those that will have to comply with the new regulations, and at least officially, the companies are happy to do it. “Weibo strongly supports adoption of the regulations and will strengthen its management efforts” said the company in an email to Reuters.
China is in charge of one of the biggest walled-off sections of the internet, and is increasingly isolating itself even further with efforts both on and offline to have greater control over what its citizens are doing.
Source: Reuters | Image via Wikimedia