Short-Video Censorship Policy Updates: Walking on Eggshells

On January 9th , the China Netcasting Services Association issued “Detailed Censorship Standards for Short-Video Content Featured on the Internet (in Chinese)” through its official website.

The document contains one hundred provisions, specified within twenty one categories, stating what kinds of content are prohibited to be shown in online short videos. These rules extend to all aspects concerning a short-video. For instance, a video’s pop-up comments (弹幕)and subtitles.  

Such forbidden aspects include: Displaying offense towards China’s political system or legal policies. To name one, challenging or misinterpreting China’s “One Country, Two Systems” policy; Showing content that threatens to damage China’s image. For example, parodying a national leader; Presenting unhealthy or negative values and world views. Advocating materialism or infidelity falls in this category. The rules are listed along with examples to serve as guidelines, making the boundaries a little less ambiguous.

China Netcasting Services Association, a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of SARFT and the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, reminds us on its official website that it is the only governmental organization operating within the “Internet Audio-Visual” field. It is also China’s largest organization of the such, having major TV network brands, mainstream news outlets, film production companies and video streaming platforms, such as Youku and iQiyi, as its members.