China is imposing strict measures to keep children away from addictive digital content. We are talking about updating existing laws that now prohibit “addictive” Internet products and services for children. Under the new rules, video game providers, streaming services and social media platforms must set time and consumption limits for underage users.
The changes also oblige service providers to take “necessary measures” to prevent cyberbullying. Various means can be used to do this, including deleting and blocking content at the request of the parents or guardians of the affected children. The updated law will come into force on June 1, 2021.
To some extent, the amendments are a formalization of what the Chinese authorities have done before. The fact is that in the past in the Middle Kingdom, attempts have already been made to study and control the ethics of gambling addiction. The tightening of legislation, according to the Chinese authorities, will help protect the mental and physical health of children, as well as relieve the formation of addiction to video games or some other online services.
However, an outright ban on addictive content can force web platforms and game developers to comply with certain security measures, even in cases where the likelihood of developing an addiction is extremely low. While the new rules will primarily affect content targeted at the Celestial Empire, they may have an impact on Chinese-made digital products and games that are published in other countries.
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