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Press Freedom Group Voices Concerns about China’s New Social Media Restrictions

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Press Freedom Group Voices Concerns about China’s New Social Media Restrictions

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Belgium-based International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), a trade union organization that seeks to defend press freedom, on Jan. 28 voiced grave concerns about the Chinese regime’s two recently issued rules on social media content. China’s National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) announced on Jan. 19 new regulations on how regional authorities should conduct their annual review of journalists’ accreditations, which is being conducted from Jan. 20 to March 19. In particular, authorities will look into whether journalists have operated “self-media” on Chinese social media such as Weibo and WeChat, or have distributed work-related information, “without authorization.” It is unclear which entity would grant such authorization. Journalists found in violation of these rules will be at risk of being punished or having their credentials suspended. The NPPA said that the new regulations were needed to build a team of journalists who are “politically strong” and “capable of winning battles.” Days later, …

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