China internet rules call for algorithms that recommend 'positive' content

China is once more tightening its grip on internet content, and this time algorithms are in the spotlight. The Cyberspace Administration of China has published upcoming rules that dictate how internet companies manage content, including a push for recommendation algorithms that promote “positive” ideas (read: government policies) while excluding “bad” material. The measure explicitly forbids content that “endangers national security, leaks state secrets, subverts state power [and] undermines national unity.” In other words, internet companies can’t challenge the political status quo.

The new rules are due to take effect on March 1st, and also call for tighter management of accounts, sign-ups, moderation and “rumors.”