Promulgation Authorities: Cyberspace Administration of China
Release Date: 2022-11-16
Effective Date: 2022-12-15
Original Title: 互联网跟帖评论服务管理规定
Administrative Provisions on Comment Threading Services on the Internet (Revised in 2022)
Article 1 In order to regulate the Internet comment threading services, safeguard state security and public interests and protect the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organisations, these Provisions are enacted according to such laws and regulations as the Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China, the Provisions on the Ecological Governance of Network Information Contents and the Administrative Provisions on the Account Information of Internet Users as well as relevant provisions of the State.
Article 2 Whoever provides and uses the comment threading services within the territory of the People’s Republic of China shall abide by these Provisions.For the purpose of these Provisions, “comment threading services” refer to the services of threading text, symbols, expressions, pictures, audio and video and other information provided for the users by the internet websites, applications and other online platforms with a public opinion attribute or social mobilization capability, by way of comments, replies, messages, bullet screens, likes, etc.
Article 3 The state cyberspace administration is responsible for the supervision, administration and law enforcement of nationwide comment threading services. Local cyberspace administrations are responsible for the supervision, administration and law enforcement of comment threading services in their respective administrative regions ex officio.
Article 4 Comment threading service providers shall strictly implement their primary responsibilities for the administration of comment threading services and lawfully fulfil the following duties:
(I) verifying the real identity information of the registered users based on mobile phone numbers, ID numbers or unified social credit codes under the principle of “using real name at back end and using alias or real name voluntarily at front end” and not providing comment threading services to users who have not verified their real identity information or fraudulently use the identity information of organisations or others.
(II) establishing and improving the system for the protection of the personal information of users, following the principles of “legitimacy, appropriateness, necessity and good faith” in the processing of the personal information of users, disclosing the rules for processing personal information, informing the users of the purpose and method of processing, type of personal information to be processed, storage period and other matters, and obtaining individuals’ consents according to the law, unless otherwise provided for by laws or administrative regulations.
(III) establishing the system of “censorship before release” for comment threading services provided for news information.
(IV) providing the corresponding static version of information content at the same time on the same platform and page if the comment threading services are provided by way of bullet screens.
(V) establishing and improving a system of review and management of comments posted, real-time inspection, emergency response and reporting acceptance and other information security management systems, timely identifying and disposing of illegal and negative information, and reporting the same to the cyberspace administrations.
(VI) innovating the management methods for comments posted, researching and developing information security management technology for comments posted and improving the ability to dispose of illegal and negative information; timely identifying risks such as security defects and loopholes in the comment threading services, taking remedial measures and reporting the same to the cyberspace administrations.
(VII) being staffed with a review editorial team that adapts to the scale of service, strengthening the review trainings and improving the professionalism of review editors.
(VIII) cooperating with the cyberspace administrations in conducting supervision and inspection in accordance with the law and providing necessary technical and data support and assistance.
Article 5 Where comment threading service providers with an attribute of public opinions or capable of social mobilization launch new products, applications and functions in relation to comment threading, they shall carry out a safety assessment in accordance with the relevant provisions of the State.
Article 6 Comment threading service providers shall enter into a service agreement with registered users to specify the detailed rules on comment threading services and management and the rights and obligations including the authority to post comments and management responsibilities of both parties, fulfill the obligations of notification of the relevant Internet laws and regulations and carry out education on civilized internet surfing. For producers and business operators of official accounts, the comment threading management authority and the corresponding responsibilities shall be clearly defined in the service agreement to urge them to earnestly perform their management obligations.
Article 7 Comment threading service providers shall regulate the management of the users of the comment threading services and the producers and business operators of official accounts in accordance with the user service agreement. For the users of the comment threading services that release illegal and negative information contents, the service providers shall take such measures as warning and reminding, refusing to release, deleting information, restricting account functions, suspending account updating, closing the account and prohibiting re-registration according to law or as agreed and keep the relevant records; for the producers and business operators of official accounts that fail to fulfil their management obligations, which leads to illegal and negative information content in the comment threading links, the service providers shall take such measures as warning and reminding, deleting information, suspending the comment threading area functions till permanently closing the comment threading area, restricting account functions, suspending account updating, closing the account and prohibiting re-registration according to law or as agreed, keep the relevant records and timely report to the cyberspace administrations.
Article 8 Comment threading service providers shall establish a classified management system for users, carry out a credit assessment of the comment threading behaviors of the users, determine service scope and functions according to the credit ratings, include the seriously dishonest users in the blacklist, cease the provision of services for the users on the blacklist and forbid them to use comment threading services by way of re-registration of accounts and other means.
Article 9 Comment threading service users shall abide by the laws and regulations, follow the public order and good customs, promote the core socialist values and not release information content prohibited by the laws, regulations and the relevant provisions of the state.
Article 10 Producers and business operators of official accounts shall strengthen the examination and management of the comment information content for the accounts, timely discover illegal and negative information content in the comment threading links and take necessary measures such as whistleblowing and handling.
Article 11 Producers and business operators of official accounts may, according to the user service agreement, apply to the comment threading service providers for management authorities such as whistleblowing, concealing or deleting illegal and negative comment information, and voluntarily closing the comment threading area of the accounts. The comment threading service providers shall, after conducting a credit assessment on the comment management by the producers and business operators of the official accounts, reasonably set the management authority according to the nature and credit rating of the official accounts and provide relevant technical support.
Article 12 Comment threading service providers and users, and producers and business operators of official accounts shall not infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of others and public interests, seek illegal gains, maliciously interfere with the comment threading order, and mislead the public opinion by releasing, deleting and recommending comment information, using software, hiring commercial organisations and personnel to disseminate information and other means of interfering with the presentation of comment information.
Article 13 Comment threading service providers shall establish and improve the system for public complains and reports against the illegal and negative information of comments posted, and the appeal system for the users of comment threading services, set up a convenient entrance for complaints and appeals and timely accept and dispose of relevant complaints and appeals involving comments posted.If the comment threading service users have objections to the comment thread information being handled, they have the right to appeal to the comment threading service providers, and the comment threading service providers shall verify and handle the case according to the user service agreement.
Any organisation and individual may complain and report to the cyberspace administrations for violations of these Provisions. After receiving such complaints and reports, the cyberspace administrations shall promptly handle them according to law.
Article 14 The cyberspace administrations at all levels shall establish and improve a supervision and administration system which combines daily inspection and regular inspection and lawfully supervise and inspect the internet comment threading services.
Article 15 Violations of these Provisions shall be punished by the State and local cyberspace administrations according to relevant laws and regulations.
Article 16 These Provisions shall come into force on 15 December 2022, simultaneously repealing the Administrative Provisions on Internet Comment Threading services promulgated on 25 August 2017.