No rest for the wicked (or the lustful) in the Middle Kingdom. News aggregation platform Jinri Toutiao is hiring 2000 content review editors to comb its app for unsavory content, The Paper has reported (in Chinese). Last week, Toutiao and Phoenix News received punishments for spreading pornographic materials and publishing news without proper licenses. Both outlets had to suspend updating several news channels for 24 and 12 hours respectively.
The editors will be based in Tianjin and will have to review about 1000 pieces of content per day. According to the job posting, the ideal candidate will have an interest towards news and current affairs, a good sense of politically sensitive content, a Bachelor degree or above, and, preferably, a Communist Party membership.
Jinri Toutiao (Today’s Headlines) uses artificial intelligence to recommend content to users. However, it’s rapid expansion has led to a flood that cannot be stopped even by the most priggish censors: 20 million pieces of new content are uploaded to the platform every day by more than one million content creators. Toutiao’s content review editing team currently has more than 4000 people, including staff working on overseas products. It is the largest censoring team in China but according to Toutiao’s deputy chief editor Xi Yilong, that number is expected to reach 10,000 soon.
The company will also be hiring international content auditors responsible for checking Japanese videos for violence, pornography, and gore. Toutiao is also engaged in a battle against “fake news” but here the army of editors is being replaced by AI.
After last week’s punishment, Toutiao promised to investigate and correct its mistakes. It has already banned 36 media accounts and halted publishing for 1064 accounts that were suspected of spreading “low content.” Within just three days, more than 2500 illegal accounts were scraped off the platform, The Paper has reported.