Regulating Short Video Platforms
Legal Daily May 29
An 8-year-old boy in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, recently imitated a prank on a video-sharing app by sticking adhesive tape to the frame of a door. As a result, his 6-year-old brother was tricked and tripped, seriously injuring his teeth and jaw.
Short video platforms have taken off in China recently, with their users numbering around 353 million in 2018. However, while many users seem satisfied with these platforms, they are plagued by instances of vulgarity and pornography, and cases of injury caused by people imitating short online videos.
These individuals should be responsible for their own injuries because they chose to ignore the risks. But if those imitating videos are children, their guardians should be held accountable. Yet the short video platforms also have their share of responsibility in such accidents.
According to a regulation enacted in 2016, video streaming websites should adopt a classification system for their content and label their content accordingly. The platforms are essentially responsible for reviewing their content before publishing it. Problems caused by the imitation of online videos indicate that service providers have failed to review their content strictly enough and to warn users of potential risks. As the short online video industry thrives, companies are focused on scrambling for a larger share of the market rather than regulating their content.
The government should overhaul the industry to make it more rational, healthy and better regulated while the platforms themselves should not disregard laws and regulations when trying to attract customers and pursue profits.