On-demand video streaming service Youku is the latest to announce a self-imposed cleanup of its platform, saying it found a number of the movies it provides to be problematic, local media is reporting.
The company said that it is conducting a review and clean up operation targeting movies that deal with the distortion of historical figures, contain gang members as central characters, run counter to approved values, and excessively display the “dark side of human nature.”
The move follows a crackdown by the country’s media regulator, the State Administration of Radio and Television (SARFT), to clean up the internet. The SARFT has been placing increased pressure on technology companies to police the content on the web.
On April 13, Toutiao-backed Huoshan Short Video (火山小视频) temporarily shut one of its channels after being criticized by the regulator. On the same day, social networking platform Weibo announced plans to remove gay-themed content from its platform, later reversing its decision due to public outcry. It is interesting to note that Huoshan went back online with a new topic on the recommendation site called “Hello! New Age (你好！新时代)” focusing on “positive energy content.” Weibo introduced a similar section after it’s trending topics feature was temporarily shut down in February.
Huoshan and Weibo were not the only popular platforms hit by regulators last week. Watermelon Video (西瓜视频) barred mobile video uploads, live streams, and live comments, Tencent suspended short video playback within its messaging apps, Toutiao was instructed to permanently shut its Neihan Duanzi (内涵段子 “implied jokes”) app, numerous news services were suspended from Chinese app stores, and Toutiao temporary disabled live streaming and comments in its Douyin (抖音) app.