Published: May 12, 2021, 15:55 (IST)
In a move to crack down on ‘historical nihilists‘ ahead of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 100th anniversary in July, the Chinese government has said it has overseen the deletion of more than 2 million posts containing “harmful” discussion of history.
A division director at the Cybersecurity Administration of China (CAC) Wen Youhua has said that “For a while, some people have disseminated harmful information with historical nihilism on the internet, under the guise of reflection and declassification. Since the beginning of the campaign, we have lawfully dealt with a large number of social media accounts that disseminated historical nihilism”.
“We have urged various websites to delete more than 2 million posts that violated laws or regulations,” he added.
‘Historical nihilism’ is a term used in China to describe public doubt and scepticism over the Chinese Communist Party’s description of past events.
On April 10, China’s cyber regulator had launched a hotline to report online comments that defame the ruling Communist Party and its history, vowing to crack down on “historical nihilists”.
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The hotline had allowed people to report fellow netizens who ‘distort’ the party’s history, attack its leadership and policies, defame national heroes and ‘deny the excellence of advanced socialist culture’ online, Fox News reported citing a notice by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) on Friday.
The notice read: “Some with ulterior motives … have been spreading historical nihilistic misrepresentations online, maliciously distorting, denigrating and negating the history of the Party.”
“We hope that the majority of Internet users will actively play their part in supervising society … and enthusiastically report harmful information,” it added.
China’s internet is tightly censored and most foreign social media networks, search engines and news outlets are banned in the country.
Internet authorities often increase censorship and online supervision ahead of major events including historical anniversaries, political meetings and sports events.
Earlier this year, legal amendments stipulated that people who ‘insult, slander and infringe upon the memories of China’s national heroes and martyrs may face imprisonment for up to three years.
China has been globally criticised for its rigorous censorship of information, most notably for withholding information on the outbreak of the coronavirus.