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China targets celebrities, fan groups in new month-long clean up campaign

By Reuters   January 24, 2022 | 11:34 pm PT
China targets celebrities, fan groups in new month-long clean up campaign
Computer code is seen on a screen above a Chinese flag in this July 12, 2017 illustration photo. Photo by Reuters/Thomas White
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) on Tuesday launched a month-long "clean cyberspace" campaign, which it said would target online abuse, "chaos" in celebrity fan groups and "money worship", among other issues.

CAC made the announcement on its official WeChat account on Tuesday, saying that it would closely look at content platforms and advertisements as part of the campaign over the Spring Festival period.

The aim is to "rectify the disorder on the Internet, curb the spread of unhealthy culture", "to create a healthy, festive and harmonious online environment for internet users, especially minors during the Spring Festival," the CAC said in the statement.

China first launched a crackdown on its booming entertainment industry in summer last year, targeting celebrity behaviour and fan groups, and has signalled that tight oversight will continue.

The Spring Festival period, also known as the Lunar New Year, is one of China's biggest holidays and is marked by a week-long holiday.

The CAC said it would focus on cyberbullying and the spreading of online rumours, as well as any online behaviours that could be considered to be showing off lavish lifestyles, encouraging the worship of money or superstition.

It will also strictly prevent "illegal and immoral" celebrities from holding any online events that could help them make a comeback, it added.

 
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