Online media on a drive to recruit editors

Chinese online media platforms plan to increase the number of content editors to keep a check on vulgar and improper content.

Chinese online media platforms plan to increase the number of content editors to keep a check on vulgar and improper content after the government strengthened regulation in the sector, Shanghai Daily learned today.

Online news application Toutiao plans to expand the editorial team to 10,000 from the current 6,000 after a subsidiary application was shut down permanently by a national regulator Tuesday for dishing out dirty jokes and vulgar contents.

China’s State Administration of Radio and Television ordered the app called “Neihan Duanzi,” a Chinese euphemism for “dirty jokes,” to be shut down permanently because it had “caused strong disgust among netizens.”
It asked Toutiao to regulate similar contents on its other sites.

“The product took a wrong turn. The published content goes against core socialist values and we did not do a thorough job in guiding public opinion. Therefore, we accept the penalty and I take full responsibility for it,” Toutiao Founder and CEO, Zhang Yiming, said in an open letter on Toutiao’s WeChat account.

Kuaishou, another online video application, announced recently that it plans to hire 3,000 content editors.

Editors earn between 5,000 yuan (US$ 800) and 9,000 yuan monthly, according to a Kuaishou post on an online recruitment firm.

Douyin, a popular user-generated online video platform, shut down its comments section today.

China’s online media platforms may face challenges in ensuring content quality while diversifying user-generated contents, analysts said.

Hou Xuchao, founding partner of China Insights Consultancy, a research firm covering high-tech industries, said that the huge number of editors mean high labor and operation costs for the companies.

The AI technologies, which have been used to review text information, will likely be adopted in dealing with pictures and videos, Hou added.

The user base of short online videos  has surged in the recent years, thanks to booming user-generated contents and customized algorithms.

The industry, including top players like Kuaishou and Douyin, attracted 202 million users nationwide, a figure that will hit 512 million in 2020, according to China Insights.

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