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Chinese social media removes vulgar comments on Ukraine-Russia war

Chinese social media removes vulgar comments on Ukraine-Russia war

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Chinese social media platforms are clamping down on inappropriate comments around Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as Chinese netizens remain split n the matter.  According to the South China Morning Post, Tencent published a statement on WeChat, saying that "individuals took the opportunity to post objectionable information about global news events." The post later was shared by a unit of the Cyberspace Administration of China.

Moreover, Weibo said it had removed 242 blog posts and 359 comments, as well as banned 83 accounts violating regulations of the platform. On the other hand, Douyin said it "handled" 6,400 videos violating the rules and halted 1,620 livestreaming events.

According to reports, due to some of the comments made by netizens, Chinese citizens in Ukraine faced an anti-China sentiment. Ukrainian media reports also said that China "supported Russia to invade Ukraine" and that Chinese netizens had left vulgar comments around "taking in beautiful Ukrainian ladies". Some posts on the social platforms gaining traction included "beautiful Ukrainian ladies" and "willing to take in Ukrainian ladies aged from 18 to 24 and help them avoid the war". However, some netizens in China called out such comments for being insensitive.

After the surge of anti-China sentiment, Tencent and Douyin banned accounts leaving vulgar comments. In addition, some hashtags were also banned by social platforms, such as "#Russia invades Ukraine" (#俄羅斯入侵烏克蘭). While the Chinese embassy in Ukraine initially asked Chinese citizens to show the national flag of China to protect themselves, after the anti-China sentiment, the embassy told Chinese citizens not to do so to avoid any attack from Ukrainians.Chinese authorities have as such called for caution over online comments about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Last week, Russian president Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine which has led to multiple sanctions on Russia and of course global coverage and condemnation. Protests have taken place in numerous parts of the world in support of Ukraine. Since then many Ukrainians and Russians abroad have been showing their support on social media to end the violence.

Meanwhile, Meta and Alphabet have prohibited ads from Russian state media. Meta said it is also demonetising the accounts of Russian state media and will continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media. As of 27 February, Meta has also restricted access to several accounts in Ukraine, including those belonging to some Russian state media organisations. It is also reviewing other government requests to restrict Russian state-controlled media.

Alphabet's Google also banned RT, a Russian state-owned media outlet, and other channels from monetising their ads on the platform's websites, apps, and YouTube videos. Like Meta, Google is also prohibiting access to RT and other channels in Ukraine, Reuters reported. Among them were several Russian channels affiliated with recent sanctions, such as those by the European Union. State-controlled media outlets have also been barred from using Google's adtech capabilities to monetise their website and apps.

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