Regulations on the Administration of Internet Follow-Up Comments Services
Article 1. The Present Regulations have been enacted in accordance with the ‘Network Security Law of the People’s Republic of China’ and the ‘Notice of the State Council Authorizing the State Internet Information Office to Take Responsibility for the Work of Managing the Content of Internet Information’, in order to regulate internet follow-up comments services, safeguard national security and the public interest, protect the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations.
Article 2. [All those who] provide follow-up comments services within the national border of the People’s Republic of China shall abide by the Present Regulations.
Follow-up comments services in the Present Regulations refers to the provision of users of such information services as the publication of text, symbols, expressions, pictures, audiovisuals by internet websites, applications, interactive dissemination platforms and other dissemination platforms belonging to the news and public opinion, or having social mobilization functions, through the posting of items on fora, replies, messages, ‘bullet screen’ and other methods.
Article 3. The State Internet Information Office is responsible for the work of supervising and enforcing the law on national follow-up comments services.Local internet information offices are responsible for for the work of supervising and enforcing the law on follow-up comments services within their administrative areas.
Internet information offices at all levels should establish and perfect a supervision and management system which combines daily inspections and periodical inspections, and regulate the conduct of follow-up comments services of all types of dissemination platforms according to the law.
Article 4. New products, new applications, new functions related to follow-up comments on internet news information services, and provided by follow-up comments service providers provide shall be reported to the State Internet Information Office, or to internet information offices in provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly controlled by the central government, to conduct a security assessment.
Article 5. Follow-up comments service providers shall strictly fulfill their responsibility, and perform the following obligations according to the law:
(1) Authenticate information about the real identity of registered users, according to the principle “Real name at the back end, voluntary choice at the front end”, and they shall not provide follow-up comments services to users whose real identity information has not been authenticated.
(2) Establish and perfect a system of user information protection. Collection and use of user’s personal information shall follow the principles of lawfulness, fairness, and necessity. Disclose regulations about collection and use. Explicitly state the goal, method, and scope of information collection and use, obtaining user’s consent.
(3) Follow-up comments services provided on news information shall establish a system to review [comments] before their publication.
(4) Providers of follow-up comment services through the ‘bullet screen’ method shall provide the corresponding static version of information content to be found on the platform and pages.
(5) Establish and perfect an information security management system to audit follow-up comments, control them in real time, and respond to emergencies. Illegal information shall be promptly discovered and disposed of, and it shall be reported to the relevant departments.
(6) Develop information security protection and management technology of follow-up comments service provides, innovate the methods of managing follow-up comments, research and develop anti-spam management systems, to enhance the ability to dispose of spam. Promptly detect existing security flaws, loopholes, and other risks in follow-up comments services, adopt remedial measures, and file reports to the relevant departments.
(7) Assign auditing and edit troops to follow-up comments service providers. Improve the professional quality of auditors and editors.
(8) Cooperate with the relevant competent departments to conduct supervision and inspection work according to the law, and provide necessary technical, information and data support.
Article 6. Follow-up comments service providers shall sign a service agreement with registered users, specifying the follow-up comments service and management rules, fulfill the duty to inform in relevant laws and regulations on the internet, and conduct a targeted education on the civilized use of the internet.
Users of follow-up comments services shall strictly discipline themselves, commit to observe laws and regulations, respect the public order and good customs, and they shall not publish information which content is prohibited by the law and regulations, and by relevant state regulations.
Article 7. Follow-up comments service providers and their professional staff shall not adopt such methods as selective deletion, and promoting follow-up comments to interfere in the public opinion in order to seek an improper benefit or to promote a wrong value orientation.
Follow-up comments service providers and users shall not use software, employ commercial organizations and personnel to disseminate information, interfere with the normal order of comments, and mislead the public opinion.
Article 8. Where information is published that violates the law, regulations and relevant state regulations, follow-up comments service providers shall promptly adopt such measures as issuing warnings, refusing publication, deleting information, limiting functions, suspending updates until an account is closed, and save relevant records.
Article 9. Follow-up comments service providers shall establish a user grading management system, conduct a credit evaluation of users’ follow-up comments, and determine the scope and functions of service according to the credit level. Users who seriously breach trust shall be blacklisted. Users who have been blacklisted shall have their service terminated, and they shall be prohibited to use follow-up comments services through such means as registering again.
While useful for academic analyses, the English version of the document presented in this post is not legally valid before Chinese courts, and administrative agencies. Readers interested in the official version of this document are encouraged to consult the official website of the State Internet Information Office, where the official version of this document was first posted. This translation is offered ‘as it is’, and for reference only. All rights on this work belong to the Foundation for Law and International Affairs and to The Coalition for Peace and Ethics. Reproduction of this work is not allowed in any form without prior written consent. Please consult this Blog’s Terms and Conditions.