The People’s Daily is reporting that short video platforms have been found teeming with inappropriate and vulgar content (in Chinese). Video streaming sites such as Douyin, Kuaishou, and Meipai have risen to popularity in China the past few years, but lately, there has been backlash online and in China’s traditional media. The most recent incident that stunned China’s internet community was when a father from Wuhan dropped his two-year-old daughter as he tried to lift her into the air, attempting to recreate a video seen on Douyin. The accident resulted in a serious spine injury.

Inappropriate content online like these attract views, likes, and shares and can easily garner over tens of thousand likes on short video platforms. Some streaming sites have been found to purposefully place provocative content on their landing page to increase traffic.

The People’s Daily article indicates that algorithms and automated suggestions are often being made the scapegoat for the spread of inappropriate content. “Neutral algorithms and machine suggestions shouldn’t become the excuse for platforms to shirk their responsibilities of auditing and moderating content on their sites,” Chu Wei, the deputy director of the Communications Law Research center at China University of Political Science and Law, said that companies should take the responsibility of checking what is being put on their platforms.

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Nicole Jao

Nicole Jao is a reporter based in Beijing. She’s passionate about emerging trends, news, and stories of human interest within the world of technology. Connect with her on Twitter or via email: nicole.jao.iting@gmail.com.