BEIJING (Reuters) – China is canvassing public opinion on draft guidelines to punish cyber violence, authorities said on Friday, as concern grows over online bullying and attacks targeting women and children in the world’s largest internet community.
Cyber violence, unlike traditional crimes, often aims at strangers so that victims face “extremely high” costs to protect their rights, the guidelines showed, leading to consequences such as social death, insanity and suicides.
June 25 is the deadline set for comment on the guidelines drafted jointly by the public security ministry, the supreme people’s procuratorate (SPP) and the supreme people’s court.
The measures target behaviours such as the spread of online rumours, insults and personal information, and perpetrators could face criminal punishment.
But the guidelines gave no details of such punishments to deter violence against minors and the disabled, the fabrication of sex-related topics infringe the dignity of others, and use of deepfake technology.
In one recent instance, media have blamed the suicide of a young mother in the central city of Wuhan on social media criticism of her demeanour after the death of her six-year-old son who was run over by a teacher’s car in a school compound.
She jumped from a high-rise building about 10 days later on June 2, media said.
Local authorities could not immediately be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom and Brenda Goh; Editing by Tom Hogue and Clarence Fernandez)