Briefing: WeChat cracks down on copycat content with anti-plagiarism panel

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一线丨为鼓励原创 微信试运行“洗稿”问题投诉合议机制 – Tencent News

What happened: WeChat announced a new measure to help cut down on copycat articles, or “content laundering” (洗稿, our translation). The platform is setting up a special panel comprising writers of original WeChat content who will pass judgment on individual cases. Complaints that meet the legal requirements of plagiarism will automatically be sent to the team for review and punitive measures. Less clear cases require the accusing party to release a public complaint, receive a response from the accused, and be approved by at least 70% of selected panel members in order to be considered copycat content. Once an article has been judged “laundered,” it will be replaced with the original content and the decision made public to all users.

Why it’s important: WeChat has made some efforts to protect content creators within its official account ecosystem. It has enabled creators to label their articles as “original,” for example, which both allows them to receive monetary tips and prevents other accounts from reposting content verbatim. However, due to the relative ease with which official accounts can be created and the fierce competition for page views, “borrowing” content without properly crediting its source is still fairly common. This is the first time that WeChat has set up an independent panel composed of its own users to judge plagiarism, a step forward for the platform. The size and scope of the panel is still unclear, however, as well as their ability to reshape WeChat’s gargantuan media footprint.