Beijing orders Chinese social and dating apps to remove “illegal content”

The Great Wall against online expression and dissent grows alongside the length of China's presidential terms.

Source - http://www.thinkswissny.org/genevemeetsnewyork/events/censorship-in-the-age-of-the-internet#!prettyPhoto

As part of China’s growing scourge of the internet, several social apps have temporarily suspended user posting. Momo, TanTan and DingTalk are among apps that shut down some sections following a government order to screen for and remove “illegal content”.

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In a press statement, Momo shut down its social newsfeed section for one month starting May 11 in order to improve “content screening efforts” following “directives of the relevant government authority.”

Momo is a dating app turned video live-streaming platform with 113 million registered users. Momo also owns the Tinder-like TanTan, China’s largest dating app community with 90 million registered users and 6 million daily active users. TanTan, which has been briefly removed from Chinese app stores in April, is also following a month-long ban for user posts.

DingTalk, an Alibaba-owned business communication app similar to Facebook’s WhatsApp, has also implemented a month-long ban to clean-up what the Chinese government regards as “illegal information” from the site.

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Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, 63, whose second presidential term limit (previously slated for 2023) had been scrapped on Mar 11, 2018, the Communist Party has increased steps to take control of the internet and online content that Chinese users can consume, and share. “Negative information” the party prohibits from the internet include not only pornography and gambling, but also what the party believes to be fake news, and information that puts the government in a bad light, or endangers the “honour or interests of the State.”

Beijing censors political dissent from the internet in China. Citizens found guilty of sharing such information may face harassment and imprisonment from the Chinese government. Onshore family members of offshore dissident citizens have also reported government harassment./TISG