China has made yet another effort to make its censorship more serious. This time around, however, things are tighter than ever. According to some new rules published by China’s main internet sensor, people who want to post comments online will have to register with their real names. They can still use nicknames. However, these nicknames have to be tied to their real identities.
The Chinese government has always done things like this in the past. Over the past three years, China has made attempts to make people register for online accounts with their real names. However, this time around, internet companies and service providers have been made responsible for ensuring that users can be identified. Companies and service providers have been instructed to report any illegal content they see on any platform to the government.
Now, this does not mean that the censorship rules are ironclad. Users have always found a way to circumvent these rules and get anonymous on Weibo chats and other platforms. Also, China’s firewall has been beaten by VPNs in the past. However, even the VPNs are beginning to succumb to pressure from the Chinese government. For example, Apple removed several VPN apps from the iTunes store.
Now, censorship in China has become even more serious. China has put the responsibility on companies and service providers. Thus, when someone creates an account on an online platform, they might as well use their real names. One way or the other, China’s censorship laws have made things a bit more difficult for the Chinese people to do what they want online. These new rules come ahead of the communist party’s 19’th National Congress, which convenes soon, and it is usually a time when the regime becomes more strict. Who knows how the service providers and internet companies in the country would respond to this rule.