The Beijing Cyberspace Administration has shut down at least 60 celebrity gossip social media accounts, Reuters reports. The administration reportedly asked internet companies like Tencent and Baidu to crack down on accounts spreading gossip or rumors online.
According to Reuters, a post on the Beijing Cyberspace Administration’s social media account says websites must “adopt effective measures to keep in check the problems of the embellishment of private sex scandals of celebrities, the hyping of ostentatious celebrity spending and entertainment, and catering to the poor taste of the public.”
This is just the most recent move by the Chinese government and President Xi Jinping to suppress online discussion. Early last month, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced a new set of regulations concerning what news publications can publish and share. Under these regulations, news companies need to acquire a government license and have editors approved by the government, according to the BBC.
In a meeting with the country’s biggest internet companies, the BCA reportedly said that a new cybersecurity law required websites “to not harm the reputation or privacy of individuals.” While the Chinese government has maintained that these regulations are security measures, critics say it’s not clear how they’ll be implemented and that they’re a move to limit free speech, according to The New York Times.
Reuters reports that many of the 60 accounts closed were duplicates.