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China Requires Video Uploaders To Use Their Real Names

Online video has been used to expose government corruption in the country.

[Image: Flickr user Thomas Leuthard]

Tightening regulation of the Internet, China has mandated users who upload video to Chinese sites to register their real names.

With online video playing a role in documenting and exposing corruption by government authorities, this new rule aims to "prevent vulgar content, base art forms, exaggerated violence and sexual content in Internet video having a negative effect on society," according to a statement by the country's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. In China, online video sites, including Youku and Tudou, have about 428 million users.

Beyond communist government bodies, tech companies have embraced the use of real names to instill a sense of transparency. Key to Facebook's early success has been its real-name policy. More recently, Google's requirement that YouTube commenters use their Google+ accounts—in essence, their real names—to leave feedback has frustrated users as well.