China began intensifying its crackdown on VPN services last month, and now the country’s internet regulator has turned its attention to domestic websites and services. New regulations announced by the Cyberspace Administration of China today [link in Chinese] require users of social media, websites, forums, and other online services to register their real name and official ID from March 1.
This policy has been implemented before — Twitter-like microblogging service Weibo enforced real names in 2012 in a bid to control the spread of so-called ‘harmful’ rumors — but these reforms are potential far more sweeping.
Rumors spread by fake accounts have “polluted the Internet ecology, harmed the interests of the masses and seriously violated core socialist values,” the administration claimed in an announcement, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal further reports that internet companies themselves will be required to implement the regulations and track users. Based on…
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