China is intensifying its crackdown on the continuing "disorder" on the internet with its newly announced month-long "clean cyberspace" campaign. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said Tuesday that it would be targeting issues such as online abuse, cyberbullying, celebrity fan groups, and money worship.
The CAC said it would be investigating several social media and content platforms as well as advertisements being used on those sites as part of its campaign, which will be running throughout the Spring Festival period. The agency said the aim of the campaign is to curb the spread of disorder and "unhealthy culture" on the internet.
The Spring Festival, also known as the Lunar New Year, is one of China's most important festivals, lasting for a week. China began a crackdown on its expanding entertainment sector in the summer of last year, focusing on celebrity behavior and fan organizations, and has indicated that it would continue to do so.
China considers Western philosophy to be a threat. In his early book "America Against America," Wang Huning, the Communist Party's ideological tsar, outlined the danger of individualism as a force dividing and eroding American society. As a result, Wang concluded that the infiltration of Western culture would corrode internal political unity and destroy the socialist regime's foundation.
China claims that Western countries are infiltrating China's ideological front through the online entertainment industry. These adversarial countries are allegedly using capitalism to exert control over China's entertainment industry, using cinema and music to propagate universal values, liberalism, and ideological liberalization.
The CAC said the campaign will be focusing on the spread of fake news, internet rumors, and cyberbullying. It will also be focusing on the continued display of opulence, which it claims is spreading the practice of "money worship," risky investments, and superstition.
The campaign is part of a wider crackdown on the nation's entertainment industry and fandom culture. Since last year, China has been attempting to curb the influence of celebrities, particularly those that represent ideologies, not in line with the government. It has also been cracking down on the exploitation of minors for entertainment purposes. The CAC believes that young celebrities are misleading the youth into believing that they can become famous without the need to work hard or go to school.
The CAC said that its campaign would protect young people as some celebrities are seen as negative influences on youth. The party places a high priority on molding young people into perfect citizens. According to Xi Jinping, young people's value orientation dictates the future of societal values. As a result, he believes that young people must be patriotic, diligent, dedicated, and selfless for the greater good of society.