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Fed Up With Moderation, China Bans Livestreaming

Photo: Weibo

It’s no secret that moderating live video online is a huge issue. Facebook has garnered criticism practically since it launched its Live platform for regular, high-profile instances of graphic violence on its platform. Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was hiring another 3,000 moderators just to tackle the issue.

China, however, has taken a different approach: It’s just banning livestreaming altogether. According to the Financial Times, platforms — including Weibo, AcFun, and iFeng — were ordered to stop streaming altogether as part of a crackdown on political discourse online. (A conflicting report from The Wall Street Journal states that regulators clamped down specifically on political videos.)

The move could have broader implications for popular Chinese livestreamers central to the billion-dollar market, and the platforms that rely on them, which have attracted investment from megacompanies like Alibaba and Tencent. According to FT, Sina Weibo lost $1 billion in market capitalization yesterday because of the news.

Fed Up With Moderation, China Bans Livestreaming