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Celebrity Gossip: China cracks down on ‘celebrity gossip’ in new censorship rules

Celebrity Gossip: China cracks down on ‘celebrity gossip’ in new censorship rules

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Celebrity Gossip:

March 3, 2020 | 3:59pm

China is making it a crime to keep up with the Kardashians.

A set of new internet censorship rules banning “negative content” — such as “excessive celebrity gossip” — have been in effect in the country since Saturday, The Guardian reported.

The rules, released last year, broadly define the banned material as anything that can have a “negative impact” — though the category also includes “sexual innuendo” and “sensationalizing headlines.”

China’s cybersecurity administration said the regulations are meant to encourage “positive” material. They go as far as to encourage content producers to promote President Xi Jinping’s socialist theory, the nation’s stability and economic achievements.

This didn’t sit well with many social media users in China.

“In the future there will be only good news, and no bad news,” one person quipped on Chinese social media site Weibo.

“They only want us to see what they want us to see, and hear what they want us to hear,” another person posted.

One user wrote: “This is basically the internet version of social policing.”

Experts said it’s not clear how exactly the hazy standards would play out.

“Imagine trying to understand whether a blog or forum post’s title is too sensational, or trying to track down all ‘sexual innuendo’ online in twitter posts and comments sections,” said Jeremy Daum, senior fellow at the Yale law school’s Paul Tsai China center.

One commentator on Weibo agreed: “Such meaningless rules. In addition to providing the government more excuses, it’s not even clear how this should work.”

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