On March 16th, the State Council Information Office released a white paper entitled "The Construction of China's Cyber Rule of Law in the New Era", in which the online protection of minors is an important chapter. Teenagers are the future of the motherland, the hope of the nation, and also the indigenous people of the Internet. It is the responsibility of the entire society to polish the "first screen of life" for them, and it is also the due meaning of the rule of law in China's network.
In 2021, the number of underage Internet users in China has reached 191 million. According to the Report on Internet Use by Chinese Minors (2022), the Internet access rate of minors in the past six months has reached 99.9%, significantly higher than the national Internet penetration rate (73%). The Internet has become an important way for minors to open up their cognitive world and increase their knowledge and insight.
However, at the same time, some problems have also arisen: no bottom line traffic, inducing minors to reward, bad online games, online bullying... Some mechanisms and content on the network platform have formed a negative value orientation for minors, and even induced minors to commit illegal acts. In addition, some short videos are designed to pursue gimmicks, make people look ugly, and have vulgar content, which has caused damage to the physical and mental health of minors who are not deeply involved in the world. However, algorithmic mechanisms can easily make minors indulge in them. "Is it really a good thing for children to keep eating sugar every day? If they are constantly fed with algorithmic content, what will the child eventually look like?" an expert once asked anxiously.
In order to create a safe and healthy online environment for children, laws and regulations must keep pace. In 2019, China formulated the "Regulations on the Network Protection of Children's Personal Information", which focuses on the protection of children's personal information rights and interests; The "Juvenile Protection Law" revised in 2020 has a special chapter on "network protection", which provides a clear legal basis for strengthening the protection of minors' information and preventing internet addiction. In fact, almost every law, regulation, and document on systematic Internet governance in China has provisions for the special protection of minors.
At the same time, in order to solve the problem of indulging in online games and video, and to rescue those children who are "trapped in mobile phones," the relevant departments have offered practical measures and taken hard measures. For example, the National Press and Publication Administration issued the "strictest ever" game restriction order, requiring all online game companies to provide one-hour service to minors only from 20:00 to 21:00 every day on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and statutory holidays. At the same time, promote the launch of "youth mode" on online live streaming and video platforms, and make clear restrictions on the length and duration of use of youth, making online content more suitable for the mental development of minors.
In addition, the "Clean Net" and "Protect Seedlings" special actions have been carried out continuously, and the "Clear and Clear" actions have been carried out one round after another to escort the growth of young people. From tackling the chaos of the "rice circle" to opposing online violence and preventing "keystrokes" from hurting people, relevant departments have pooled the power of the entire network to compact the management responsibilities of all parties in response to the prominent issues at various stages, in order to create a "blue sky and white clouds" of the Internet, so that young people can access the Internet safely and with ease.
A glimpse reveals the whole leopard. Youth protection is the epitome of the "rule of China" on the internet. The network is far away, and the construction of the rule of law will also reach far away. "Where there are rules, there is freedom, where there is the rule of law, there is rights, and where there is" inaction ", there is room for" inaction "in the development of the network.". The internet is not a place outside the law, and China's governance of the internet is creating a bright and sunny day for the internet.
(Wen | Shen Bin)