Online nicknames are the latest target of a government crackdown as officials vow to clean up the internet and get rid of perceived “threats to public safety”.
New regulations set by the National Bureau of Internet Information to be implemented on March 1 will involve restrictions on what people can use for usernames, avatar portraits, and more. Still, there is no requirement to use one’s real name. Here’s a spokesperson for the National Bureau of Internet Information:
The managing of online accounts will follow the principle of “As long as you use your real name (to register your account), you’ll be able manage your account however you’d like”. (We) fully respect the right for users to personalize their accounts, so long as all viewable information to complies with regulations.
The spokesperson explained that the new regulations are necessary because of the vast size of China’s internet.
Improper online nicknames lead to many problems described by the spokesperson as polluting online interactions, infringing on personal rights, severely violating core values of socialism, causing harm to society, and inciting hatred.
It will become the responsibility of internet companies to police all of China’s netizens under this new law, which will affect everything from blogs to Weibo accounts and internet forums.