Monday, April 15

Chinese social networks will make the location of their users visible

various platforms and social media Chinese will start showing the location of users in their profiles from their IP addresses, a measure with which they seek to stop the spread of rumors and false news, in line with the policy promoted by the Government.

The initiative, which companies have decided to carry out of their own free will since there is currently no legal mandate for it, look for “prevent netizens from pretending to be elsewhere to spread rumours”publishes today the newspaper South China Morning Post.

In recent months, social networks have been the main population escape route China to air his tiredness of the The authorities’ harsh zero covid policy, which includes massive lockdowns, border closures and the obligation to undergo constant PCR tests, among other measures.

Although these posts are quickly censored and removed from Chinese cyberspace, the videos and posts have lately been rapidly leaked to Western networks such as Twitter or Facebook, where videos have been seen of residents of Shanghai – confined for three weeks – confronting the police and testimonies from the population about the harshness of the confinement.

Weibo social networkone of the most used in the Asian country with 250 million users and similar to the censored Twitter, since put this policy in place a few weeks ago and now it will be joined by others such as Douyin -the Chinese version of TikTok with 600 million accounts-, Zhihu, Kuaishou (videos) or the news aggregator Jinri Toutiao.

Although the Chinese government has increased in the last year the control over the contents that are disseminated on the networksfor now there is no law that requires social networks to publish the location of their users.

However, the move comes after the China Cyberspace Administration warned in March that this year’s campaign to “bring order to chaos ‘online'” would include the prosecution of rumour-spreading.

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It is also the main initiative that the platforms have taken in the last five years to encourage transparency of online identities.

According to the companies cited by the SCMP, the IP address will not be shown, but the province will be visible where the user is located, or the country in the case of those accessing from outside China.

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