China releases draft guidelines to tackle online harassment

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is polling public opinion over draft guidelines to punish cyber violence, authorities said on Friday, amid growing concern over online bullying and attacks targeting people. women and children in the world’s largest internet community.

Cyberviolence, unlike traditional crimes, often targets strangers, so victims face “extremely high” costs to protect their rights, the guidelines showed, resulting in consequences such as social death, insanity and the suicides.

June 25 is the deadline for commenting on the guidelines jointly drawn up by the Ministry of Public Security, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) and the Supreme People’s Court.

The measures target behaviors such as spreading online rumours, insults and personal information, and perpetrators could face criminal penalties.

But the guidelines gave no details on such penalties to deter violence against minors and people with disabilities, the fabrication of sex-related topics that violate the dignity of others and the use of deepfake technology.

In a recent case, media blamed the suicide of a young mother in the central city of Wuhan on social media criticism of her behavior after her six-year-old son was hit by a teacher’s car. in a school complex. .

She jumped from a high-rise building about 10 days later on June 2, according to media reports.

Local authorities could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom and Brenda Goh; Editing by Tom Hogue and Clarence Fernandez)

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