Short video app Kuaishou on Wednesday banned 39 popular content creators for hyping their videos, continuing a platform-wide cleanup that started earlier this month.

Why it matters: As regulators continue to scrutinize all kinds of platforms for inappropriate content, short video apps are imposing stricter self-regulation to avoid costly suspensions or an altogether ban.

  • Kuaishou was censured by the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) for lowbrow content in April 2018. The company was ordered to pause all new uploads to the platform until all content on the platform was filtered.

Details: This round of cleanups brings the number of popular influencers suspended from the platform to over 100. All of the offending content creators have followings numbering in the several hundreds of thousands; one banned user with the handle “Xiaojianing” has more than 2 million followers.

  • Kuaishou provided details on several types of content it considers “malicious hyping,” such as fabricated sob stories, videos that exaggerate the circumstances of disadvantaged groups, and videos that promote harmful views on marriage and families.
  • Also targeted are clickbait videos, including those with panic-inducing or sexually suggestive titles and thumbnails. Short videos that use “bizarre” thumbnails will also be removed from the platform.
  • In addition to banning repeated and severe offenders, Kuaishou said it will limit the traffic directed to content creators whose infractions are minor, and that “malicious hyping” videos will never appear on the platform’s trending list.

Context: Kuaishou has long been accused of hosting vulgar and inappropriate content, with local regulators frequently castigating influencers on the platform for irresponsible behavior aimed at attracting more views.

  • Following the NRTA censure in 2018, Kuaishou increased the size of its content filtering team from 2,000 to 5,000 people.
  • Under the request of the Cyberspace Administration of China, Kuaishou and its rival Douyin both rolled out a “youth mode” in March to restrict the access of underage users, limiting them to feeds consisting primarily of educational videos.
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Tony Xu

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail:

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