The Government in China has tightened its censorship in online video.
According to eGovmonitor.com, online content providers in the country must pre-screen and censor all videos or face a penalty.
The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has revealed that the onus is on companies that host the footage to take the responsibility for the content and therefore site administrators must fully examine the content beforehand to make sure it is appropriate for publication.
It was decided by the Government that closer regulation of web video was required after there were a number of complaints by worried parents about harmful images. So in an attempt to protect children from obscene content, now all consumer’s will have their videos examined to ensure no vulgar material gets online.
Material that contains violence, swearing or pornography will be removed.
However, some experts in the industry have spoken out at their concern that the watchdog body is taking the censorship too far. China already blocks many international sites like YouTube and last year SARFT banned the depiction of time travel on television saying that it promotes superstition, reincarnation and feudalism.
Back in 2008 SARFT closed down 10 video sharing websites and ordered them to stop operations and 17 sites received warnings.
In a statement by the organisation, it said: “The new moves are because of ‘an outcry from Internet users and industry needs’.” Clips on video websites like Youku.com and Tudou.com reportedly do not meet the government’s censorship standards and therefore all future productions need to be approved before going live.
But a spokesperson from Youku, China’s most popular online video site, said nothing with vulgar or violent materials passes through them as they employ hundreds of video checkers; so the firm does not believe it will be affected.
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