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China bans video spoofs and parodies

China’s media regulator has cracked down on online video spoofs and parodies

Video websites now need to ban any videos that "distort, mock, or defame classical literary and artwork," the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Movie and Tv stated in a regulation yesterday. Reuters noted that the regulation was marked "extra urgent," which is unusual and implies that residents need to comply instantly or risk being closed down by authorities. The regulation just applies to online videos, but since China largely has control of its movie and tv industries, one wouldn't expect to see mocking parodies there to begin with.

The regulation also stated that videos need to promote the "fine traditional Chinese culture" and its concepts of "love, emphasis on the people, integrity, justice, harmony, and no worshiping of money or other bad habits." The language sounds just like China's regulation from last July which banned movies and blog sites that weren't "socialist" enough.

The new rule comes a little over a week after a Chinese press reporter's eye-roll went viral during the National People's Congress, sprouting memes, spoofs, and GIFs all over social networks. The moment was especially significant since the Congress is normally buttoned-up and uneventful. Chinese censors  banned mentions of the eye-roll on social platforms.

JustXiaIt, a parody group known for dubbing over clips from films, stated on Weibo, as first spotted by Reuters, that it would delete all videos to clean up, inspect themselves, improve, and "make the program more in line with appropriate laws and policies."