Due to the huge impact of the coronavirus pandemic, there is a preponderance of online tutelage solutions. In China, a couple of websites and apps started online schools. However, many of these apps have been violating Chinese laws for online studies. The State Cyberspace Administration of China is saddled with the responsibility of fishing out these defaulting apps and websites. Its hammer first dropped on “Xueersi Online School” App for posting inappropriate content. Now, it is punishing multiple more Chinese websites and apps for one offense or the other.
According to the agency, these websites, platforms, and learning channels deliberately post unhealthy information to drive traffic. This unhealthy information includes pornography, vulgar or violent content, as well as contents relating to terrorism. Note that the defaulting apps/websites are those that are originally supposed to be for learning. Thus, they do not have any restrictions or age limits.
Some apps/websites and their offenses
- Baidu App: Post videos that endanger the physical and mental health of young people. Also disseminates content that generally gives learners a poor orientation.
- Tencent.com and its App: Post contents that are unrelated to learning. These include online games, entertainment shows, online novels, love skills, etc.
- NetEase App: Pushes vulgar contents, pornography, online games, thrillers, and other illegal contents.
- Bilibili.com and its App: Vulgar and pornographic content, online games, live broadcasts, and other illegal content.
- Iqiyi’s “Education” channel: Pushes horror-themed game videos, gossip secret history, as well as other condemnable contents
- Toutiao App: Pushes vulgar and bad content involving homosexuality.
- Watermelon Video: pushes online games, horror and thrillers, and other objectionable content.
The three commonly used learning and education apps for teenagers, including “Super Star Learning”, “Paper Note” and “Little Belly”, contains harmful information such as bad guidance, pornography, and vulgarity. They also contain live games and other content that had nothing to do with learning.
Furthermore, others like 360 browser (including 360 security guard, 360 desktop), Sogou browser, QQ browser (including Tencent QQ, Tencent Computer Manager), universal compression, Master Lu, Pudding compression comes with too many pop-ups window. These pop-ups usually affect the learning process. In addition, some of these pop-ups also show vulgarity and pornographic information.
Learning and education website platform and App has become the main channel for minors to learn at home. However, some websites and platforms disregard social responsibility and repeatedly use online classes to promote online games, dating information, and even spread pornography, violence, and fraud information. This greatly endangers the physical and mental health of the majority of students, especially minors.
Punishment for defaulting apps/websites
At present, the Cyberspace Administration of China depending on the circumstances of the violation and the nature of the problem has taken punitive measures against these apps/websites. The measures/punishments include
- interviewing the relevant platforms
- ordering rectification within a specific time frame
- suspending the relevant app or website
- completely removing them from the Internet
- stopping internet access services
- dealing with the relevant responsible persons seriously