Emojis, Stickers should be Regulated: Communist Party Paper Commentary
China should regulate the use of emojis or stickers, single-frame memes, and animated GIFs in chatting apps, a Chinese Communist Party-affiliated newspaper People's Daily proposed in a commentary on Saturday, according to the Sixth Tone.
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"There should be regulations on how to use emojis on social networking websites," the article, which was published in the paper's "Learn Chinese" section on its Chinese-language overseas edition, wrote.
The report allegedly raised concern that the slang language used in the stickers could confuse users, especially people studying the Chinese language. The commentary argued that such stickers could teach students wrong diction and could limit their expressions to online language, according to The Telegraph.
It also cited that some have "pornographic, violent, negative, and unhealthy content, or even touches on the very baseline of virtue... [and] some even violate laws and should be firmly opposed," Tang Zhengda, a researcher in language research institute of Chinese academy of social sciences told the newspaper.
Stickers and emojis have become popular in China. In WeChat alone, stickers are shared more than 20 million times per day.
However, while WeChat regularly introduces new sticker sets and allows users to create their own, it defended that it opposes and get rid of contents that are deemed vulgar or harmful to the "society's positive development."
"The stickers that are submitted to WeChat are examined through manual review to ensure their compliance with national policy and our platform's operating rules," Tang told Sixth Tone.
Meanwhile, another commentary published earlier this month also argued that overuse of messaging app stickers reduces netizen's ability to express themselves.
Since Chinese President Xi Jinping assumed his position three years ago, China has implemented strict measures to control the Internet. It started ramping up surveillance on live streaming sites; restricting storylines like extra-marital affairs on Chinese TV programs; and cracking down social entertainment news that promote "Western lifestyles."