China's latest maneuvre in a sweeping crackdown on internet content has sent a chill through a diverse community of filmmakers, bloggers, media and educators who fear their sites could be shut down as Beijing tightens control.
Over the last month, Chinese regulators have closed celebrity gossip websites, restricted what video people can post and suspended online streaming, all on grounds of inappropriate content.
On Friday, an industry association circulated new regulations that at least two "auditors" will, with immediate effect, be required to check all audiovisual content posted online - from films to "micro" movies, documentaries, sports, educational material and animation - to ensure they adhere to "core socialist values".
Topics deemed inappropriate include drug addiction and homosexuality, said the government-affiliated China Netcasting Services Association, which represents more than 600 members.
People flocked online at the weekend to criticize the move, with most saying it was a step backwards that would hamper creativity. Some noted it could be near impossible to enforce.
"According to these censorship rules, nothing will make it through, which will do away with audiovisual artistic creation," Li Yinhe, an academic who studies sexuality at the government-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, wrote in an online post. Read more via Reuters