This Sunday, parody social media accounts will be illegal in China

- February 24, 2015 2 MIN READ

The Chinese Government otherwise known as the internet fun police, have confirmed that this Sunday, March 1st will be the day that a new law banning the use of “certain kinds of usernames” online across the country will come into full effect.

The new regulations called ‘Internet User Account Name Regulations‘ will mean that internet based startups and existing companies in China will be forced to make sure that users of their sites are signing up with real-name registration and not, for example fake celebrity or heads of state names that could “cause chaos”.

China News reports that the laws are designed to make the internet a more ‘cool and bright’ place to be.

According to regulations, all Internet users account name on the Internet Information Services for registration subject to the nine rules, including not violate the Constitution and laws; not endanger national security, leaking state secrets, subverting state power, undermining national unity; not incite ethnic hatred ethnic discrimination, undermining national unity; not spreading obscenity, pornography, gambling, violence, murder and other content. Any violation, the account will be imposed a suspended until logout.

National Network Information Office deputy 任彭波 [Peng Bo] said that a goal of the remediation action is ” to see the name of someone on the Internet, it is not disgusting, not chaos, is comfortable “to make cyberspace more cool and bright.

Basically under the new rules the following types of usernames would be banned, as explained by TechinAsia.

  • Usernames impersonating or satirising public figures (no more usernames with “Obama” or “Putin” in them, for example)
  • Usernames that harm national security, reveal state secrets, subvert government authority, or harm national unity.
  • Usernames that incite ethnic/racial hatred, discriminate against an ethnicity, or harm national ethnic unity
  • Usernames that promote/disseminate vulgarity, pornography, gambling, violence, or assassination.

The way in which the implementation of these rules plans to be carried out is by giving users a limited amount of time to change their user names, before having their accounts deleted permanently. Although the new rules may seem quite extreme, the fact that the onus has been placed on the internet companies themselves to police this makes me think that, much like our ISP’s and copyright laws here in Australia that this won’t be implemented as heavily as the Chinese Government hopes that it will.