China: Control and Common Sense. Common Sense?

November 25, 2020

I must admit that I saw some darned troubling things when I last visited China and Hong Kong. However, I spotted an allegedly accurate factoid in “China Bans Spending by Teens in New Curbs on Livestreaming.” In one of my lectures about the Dark Web I pointed out livestreaming sites which permitted gambling, purchase of merchandise which is now called by the somewhat jarring term “merch,” and buying “time” with an individual offering “private sessions.” I pointed out examples on Amazon Twitch and on a service called ManyVids, an online outfit operating from Canada. (Yep, dull, maple crazed Canada.)

Here’s the passage of particular significance in my opinion:

Livestreaming platforms now must limit the amount of money a user can give hosts as a tip. Users must register their real names to buy the virtual gifts, in addition to the ban on teens giving such gifts. The administration also asked the platforms to strengthen training for employees who screen content and encouraged the companies to hire more censors, who also will need to register with regulators. The media regulator will create a blacklist of hosts who frequently violate the rules, and ban them from hosting livestreaming programs on any platform. [Emphasis added by Beyond Search]

Okay, spending controls will force buyers (sometimes known as “followers”) to be more creative in the buying time function.

But the killer point is “real names.”

No doubt there are online consumers who will bristle at censorship, registration, and blacklisting. Nevertheless, “real names” might be a useful concept for online services not under the watchful eye of party faithful grandmas in a digital hotong. What a quaint idea for outfits like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other online content outputters to consider.

Stephen E Arnold, November 25, 2020


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