(Yicai Global) April 12 -- Chinese and US internet giants have both eaten humble pie this week, but for different reasons. American social media platform Facebook repeated its apology for leaking user data, while Chinese news aggregator Jinri Toutiao and Tencent-backed video streaming platform Kuaishou apologized for spreading inappropriate content online, including pornographic imagery.
The State Administration of Radio and Television questioned Toutiao, owned by Beijing Bytedance Technology Co., and Kuaishou, run by Beijing Kuaishou Technology Co., implying that these two internet platforms have been spreading vulgar, violent, and pornographic content. China Central Television discovered in March this year that the Haidian-based news feed platform with 120 million daily active users was also pushing illegal advertisements to users.
This is not the first time Toutiao was questioned amid suspicions of spreading pornographic content, since SART raised similar concerns last April. This time the regulator went on to order the company to permanently pull the plug on its 200-million-user Neihan Duanzi, an online community app for sharing jokes and funny images or videos, often off-color ones.
“Focus on financial growth over the last few years has overshadowed our corporate social responsibility, which includes governance of harmful content, as well as false advertising,” Toutiao’s founder Zhang Yiming said. To fix its ethical posture, the company will release a gatekeeping system to block illegal content and set up a committee to conduct quality control. Kuaishou also apologized after China Central Television exposed the video platform’s massive online dungeon of vulgar content in March, including child pornography, with the former saying that rectification plans will follow.
Editor: Emmi Laine