Some of China’s most popular social media sites deleted more than 60,000 accounts in the last 24 hours because they did not conform to the strict new regulations due to be put in place on Sunday.
Reuters reported that the country’s top social networks – QQ, Tencent’s WeChat and Sina Weibo – carried out the cleanup after China’s State Internet Information Office (SIIO) announced that new regulations will come into effect.
The new rules ban the use of certain nicknames online, including parody accounts or accounts that are impersonating public figures or any username that appears to be fraudulent, violent or vulgar. Other companies involved in the censorship sweep included Alibaba and Baidu.
China has attempted to implement a real-name registration policy for websites in the past but it never materialized. However, since President Xi Jinping took power in early 2013, there has been a clampdown on internet censorship and the new measures are a sign of how serious the country is this time. The CAC was founded last year and given power over all online content, something that had previously been divided across various ministries.