Inquirer: Traffic violators in China pay ‘fine’ with social media confessions. “What if you could pay a fine for a traffic offense with a post online? In southwestern China, traffic violators get off the hook over a minor offense if they admit to their blunder on social media—and earn at least 20 likes, reports Beijing News.”
BetaNews: Weibo reverses homosexuality policy in China: ‘We’re no longer targeting gay content’. “Following a huge backlash over the weekend, Weibo — the Chinese equivalent of Twitter — has announced a reversal of a policy that would have seen gay content banned from the platform. Originally announced on Friday, the ‘clean-up’ operation was due to last three months, and covered violence and pornography as well as homosexual content. Now, however, Weibo has felt the pressure of public outcry and backed down saying: ‘We’re no longer targeting gay content’.” Pinky swear I did not plan for these two stories to end up next to each other.
New York Times: The Personal Data of 346,000 People, Hung on a Museum Wall. “Deng Yufeng wanted to create art that prods people to question their lack of data privacy. What better way, he reasoned, than to buy the personal information of more than 300,000 Chinese people off the internet and display it in a public exhibition? The police did not appreciate the irony.”
Sixth Tone: Are Chinese People ‘Less Sensitive’ About Privacy?. “A single quote about data privacy has caused tremendous controversy among Chinese netizens. ‘I think Chinese people are more open and less sensitive about the privacy issue,’ Robin Li, CEO and co-founder of internet giant Baidu, said Monday during a talk at the 2018 China Development Forum in Beijing. ‘If they are able to trade privacy for convenience, for safety, for efficiency — in a lot of cases, they’re willing to do that.'”
The Verge: China bans video spoofs and parodies. “China’s media regulator has cracked down on online video spoofs and parodies, according to state-run media outlet Xinhua. Video sites now must ban any videos that ‘distort, mock, or defame classical literary and art works,’ the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television stated in a directive yesterday.”
The Malaysian Insight: Feminists to sue China social media giants for deleting group’s accounts. “FEMINIST activists are preparing to sue China’s biggest social media platforms for deleting their organisation’s accounts, the group’s founder said today. On March 8, International Women’s Day, staffers operating the prolific Feminist Voices account on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform found that it had been deleted.”
The Parallax: Why (and how) China is tying social-media behavior to credit scores. “As America struggles to keep tabs on consumer credit scores in the tumultuous wake of last year’s Equifax breach, China is preparing to flip the switch on a new type of credit score. In 2020, Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu, China’s most popular social networks, will be required to include all users in social-credit systems unique to their platforms. And each Chinese citizen using these networks will be given a credit score based on his or her online behavior. Scoring high will open financial doors; scoring low will slam them shut.”