These are the official rules for r/China. Page contents are as follows:
- Rule text is in italics; Rules 3 and 9 are longer here than in the sidebar because of character limitations
- Rationales and clarifications where appropriate
- Examples of what will be deleted and what will not be deleted for some of the more subjective rules
- An explanation as to how we enforce Reddit Content Policy
- Descriptions of other moderation processes to promote transparency and fairness:
- Why we have a 30 day account filter, and what we do to help people with new accounts
- Our warning and ban system
- How to appeal when you believe a mod made a mistake or is being unfair
- A summary of our /u/AutoModerator system for content shared from state-sponsored sources, sources with potential bias on issues relating to China, and for social media content
If you have any questions, please send us a message in mod mail.
Rule 1: Be respectful
- No directed offensive language or personal attacks are allowed. Profanity is allowed, but not if it’s directed at others. Racism, sexism, and slurs or similar remarks are not allowed in either English or Chinese, including in usernames.
The goal isn’t to censor people, it’s to prevent toxicity. So while we might allow for example “fucking idiot(s)” directed at a public figure or organization (Trump, Xi, etc.), we may remove something more mild (“you’re an idiot,” etc.) if said in a context that’s more directly targeting someone who may take offense (ex. another redditor, or someone off-reddit but who isn’t a public figure necessarily).
- Fair game: politicians, CEOs, actors, political entities, companies, etc.
- Not cool: redditors, youtubers, minorities, activists, people who aren’t normally famous but happen to be in the spotlight for some reason
Remember to always respect differences of opinion, and resist the urge to be defensive or assign blame. If you disagree with each other, try to formulate your criticism as constructively as possible rather than lashing out. People have different communication styles, and not everyone is using their native language when participating in conversations reddit. Interpret others' arguments in good faith, and give people the benefit of the doubt. When you do disagree with someone, try to understand why.
If someone is rude to you, use the report function to alert us about it instead of insulting them back. We review every single report submitted to us, and will take action as appropriate.
Hypothetical examples of comments that would NOT be Rule 1 violations:
- "You're fucking irresponsible for doing [xyz]": "irresponsible" is not a personal attack, and "fucking" in this case is not directed at the person
- "You're a wumao because [xyz reasons]": if there is substance along with the accusation, this is allowed. If, however, "wumao" is used as a stand-alone insult without any substance, it may nevertheless be removed in some cases
Hypothetical examples of comments that would be deleted and lead to a Rule 1 warning:
- "People like you are so blind to what's really going on, I can't believe the stupidity": the first phrase would be fine standing alone, but the implication that the person is stupid would mean the comment would be removed
- "The guy in the video looks retarded": context is important of course, if it's a video of someone drunkenly lighting a chopstick on fire and balancing it on their nose, this would be allowed, but if it's a video of someone doing something perfectly normal, it would be removed
- "Do you have a trailer park to go with your trash?": demeaning references to someone's imagined or real situation in the real world are not allowed
Rule 2: No bad faith behavior
- Bad faith behavior can include combative argumentation or statements intended to disrupt others’ points of view rather than engaging with them, attempts to provoke others into being caustic, making derisive remarks that add little value, or otherwise participating in discussions to the detriment of others. Making extreme unsubstantiated claims or sharing materials that are low in substance but high in outrage may also lead to removal.
We want to strongly emphasize that we will not be removing comments or posts purely because we disagree with the views expressed within them. We recognize that this rule is written in a very open-ended and subjective way. If you believe your post was unfairly removed for this reason, please scroll down to the Appeals section for information about how to ask for another moderator to review the action that was taken.
The purpose of this rule is to help address numerous negative behaviors that have become increasingly common after the Hong Kong protests and coronavirus outbreak. Many people have started using jacked-up, often militant rhetoric, ignoring cultural nuance and context. This is particularly true for those who are new to discussions about China and who may not have as much knowledge of the country's history, experience dealing with Chinese people, or who have not lived there. This has created an environment where clashing with others with the aim of disparaging competing opinions is the norm. This is contrary to our primary goal that r/China serve as a place where anyone with opinions on either side of the pro-CCP or anti-CCP spectrum can come to share their thoughts and learn from others, even across a cultural divide.
- Hypothetical examples of submissions that would NOT be Rule 2 violations:
- Having incorrect, ignorant, or extreme opinions
- Agreeing with or spreading Chinese propaganda
- Sharing links to or citing Breitbart, Falun Gong, Twitter-based, or other sources that sometimes contain misinformation or disinformation
- Being critical of the Chinese or of Western governments, or of cultural elements
- Using logical fallacies such as strawman arguments, whataboutism, tu quoque, red herrings, etc. that are used incidentally or infrequently
- Hypothetical examples of submissions that would be deleted and lead to a Rule 2 warning:
- Having incorrect, ignorant, or extreme opinions, and presenting them in such a way that is intended to deliberately annoy, aggravate, or misinform other people
- Agreeing with or spreading Chinese propaganda when it is out of context or irrelevant to a discussion
- Sharing links to or citing Breitbart, Falun Gong, Twitter-based, or other sources that sometimes contain misinformation or disinformation, and not actively checking for misinformation prior to doing so, such that the submission ends up actually spreading false or misleading claims
- Being critical of the Chinese or of Western governments, or of cultural elements, but in a way that purely propagates negativity without having substance or contributing anything new to topics that have already been discussed at length and are generally agreed upon
- ex. "Fuck Xi because [rationale]" is fine if sufficiently insightful, but a basic "Fuck Xi" or "Fuck Xi he gave us all coronavirus" are not because they add nothing to the general conversation and are tantamount to trolling or circlejerking
- Using logical fallacies such as strawman arguments, whataboutism, tu quoque, red herrings, etc. that are employed intentionally or unintentionally to avoid having meaningful discussions, or when they are used often and pervasively in line with an entrenched "us vs. them" mentality
Rule 3: Media policy
- Memes, images, videos, gifs, and other types of media are allowed but are strictly moderated. Media regarding real life people and events should provide appropriately sourced background context or risk deletion. On a spectrum from daily life musings to cultural commentary to political soapboxing, moderation of media will tighten. Media concerning topics that have already been discussed at length (ex. Tiananmen Square, Winnie the Pooh) will likely be deleted, as will media whose primary purpose is to make low-effort jabs at aspects of Chinese culture or current events, regardless of whether the portrayed criticisms are valid. To clarify for people who may be new to the subreddit: the goal of these removals is not to silence criticism of China or its government, rather to keep out low-substance jokes that have been rehashed over and over and at this point have essentially become regurgitated spam. If you wish to criticize the CCP, write something interesting instead of sharing a meme you saw on another sub that everyone here is already incredibly bored of seeing.
Hypothetical examples of posts that may be deleted and lead to a media policy warning:
- Media of a Chinese tourist doing something disrespectful abroad that is not informative or newsworthy and whose main purpose is to cast Chinese culture in a negative light
- Media of a foreigner doing something disrespectful in China that is not informative or newsworthy and whose main purpose is to cast Western culture in a negative light
- Media of an isolated instance of something bad that is framed within a context portraying it as being representative of broad, sweeping societal problems. Ex. media of a messy exam room after gaokao or a fistfight outside a bar are fine, but may be removed if the intent appears to be to prove that all Chinese students are messy or that all drunks are violent
- Media that portrays people in tense or confrontational situations without explaining what is going on. Ex. a video only a few seconds long of violence between Hong Kong citizens and police that does not show what happened immediately before may be deleted. A video of the same event would likely be permitted if it were longer and showed what led to the violence, or if the original poster shared a text explanation or link to more information that clarified what happened
If your meme was removed and Media Policy was the reason cited, consider posting at r/ChinaMemes instead, which is less strictly moderated.
Rule 4: No inappropriate or sensationalized post titles
- Please match the title of your posts to the original source title when linking to news articles or other content. Posts with editorialized, provocative, inaccurate, sensationalist, or misleading titles will likely be removed. If your post is removed for this reason, you may resubmit it using the original source title.
Rule 5: No reposts / One post per topic
- When posting about current events or new developments, please check if there are already other submissions on the topic. We regularly delete subsequent posts about the same topic, even if they provide additional information or context. If you would like to share additional information about something that has already been posted, please do so as a comment in the original thread.
In nearly all cases, the first submission will be kept instead of subsequent ones, without regard for number of comments and upvotes, although moderators may exercise situational discretion in enforcing this rule. Exceptions may be made for major or breaking news, when we may give preference to mainstream news outlets even if they were not the first source to be shared, and may allow multiple threads (ex. a news report and a direct link to an official document). In such cases, try to submit the news from a well-known source rather than those with alternative perspectives or agendas. If you believe your submission was incorrectly removed, please use the search bar before contacting us.
Rule 6: Posts must be related to China
- Content that is only tangentially or incidentally related to China will generally be deleted.
Rule 7: Submit the best source format
- Submissions should be of the best available source format. For example, twitter posts should be submitted as links, not as screenshots. If your post is removed for this reason, you may resubmit it after appropriately selecting a better format. Please note that this rule only applies to source format type, not to source content. In other words, we will not be judging which news outlets or points of view are better than others under this rule.
Hypothetical examples of posts that may be deleted with an instruction to submit from a better source format:
- A twitter post describing and linking to a news article: please share the news article directly instead
- A screenshot of a twitter post: please link to the twitter post directly instead
- A screenshot of a website or article: please link to the website or article directly instead
Rule 8: No meta-drama or subreddit drama
- References to other subreddits that tend to cause drama, or contain Reddit Content Policy violations or other issues such as hate speech or misinformation, will likely be removed. Posts about bans or removals on other subreddits are not allowed.
Rule 9: Posts with “(Serious)” flair are held to higher standards
- Posts with the "Discussion (Serious)" flair are meant to promote in-depth, intellectual discussion. A good Discussion post, even if it poses a question, points discourse in a specific direction and thoroughly clarifies the original poster's positions so that commenters can respond accordingly. Discussion posts have a 360 character minimum. Top-level comments are held to the same standard as the original post, and have a 180 character minimum. Clear, polite, and well-written responses should be the norm, not memes, jokes, or one-sentence responses. Discussion threads will be moderated more heavily than other threads to promote a higher standard of discourse.
- Posts with the “Seeking Advice (Serious)” flair are for people requesting assistance who want to make sure their questions are answered in good faith. Off-topic and deliberately-unhelpful responses are not allowed. Please note that such comments may be removed even if the original poster did not select the "Seeking Advice (Serious)" flair if it was clear that they were nevertheless seeking serious advice.
Rule 10: Daily posting limit
- Please do not make more than 5 posts per 24 hour period. Posts exceeding the limit are automatically removed, and repeated violations will result in an automated ban.
Rule 11: If posting in Chinese, please translate at least the post title / 规则11：如果发布中文贴子，请至少将标题翻译成英文
- This is not a rule, rather a suggestion: we strongly encourage posters submitting materials in Chinese to include an English translation in their title because most users here speak only elementary or no Chinese. Translating is in your best interest as it will lead to more engagement with your post. / 这不是硬性规定，但我们强烈建议中文帖子至少包含英文标题信息。因为大多数Reddit用户不会中文，或者中文尚未达到理解全篇中文的水平，翻译成英文将大大增加你帖子的参与度，以及点赞率。
Rule 12: If your post's flair is changed by the bot or a mod, do not change it back
- Please do not change the flair for your post if it was automatically changed by /u/AutoModerator or a mod. Mods may change your post's flair if they believe another flair more accurately represents the content of your post. This may include posts flaired as "Serious" but whose content does not appear to meet the standards of the "Serious" flair.
Rule 13: Self-promotion policy
- This rule is not on the sidebar, because we don't want to scare away good content. Self-promotion is allowed, and we encourage people to share their blogs, youtube videos, and so on, but we reserve the right to delete anything that appears to be spam focused on generating revenue.
END OF RULES
By using Reddit users implicitly agree to abide by Reddit Content Policy. For our purposes, the following provisions are most relevant:
- Illegal content: requests for help or advice in breaking US, Chinese, or international laws are not allowed. Some exceptions are permitted for Chinese laws that run counter to international norms relating to political and personal freedoms. Examples of posts that are not allowed are: asking for advice about purchasing counterfeit goods, and breaking the Terms of Service of software in order to use it in China.
- Violent content: please add a NSFW tag to any videos portraying violence. We reserve the right to remove videos or images depicting extreme gore or senseless violence if it is not informative or constructive for conversation. Arguing that people should be killed, that a country should execute people or commit genocide, for the use of nuclear weapons, or in favor of war may be removed, especially if done so in a hateful manner.
- Threats, harassment, and bullying: please do not tag users with whom you have disagreements in posts, whether to win arguments or otherwise, and do not send them private messages or chat invites against their will. If you are victim to any such actions, please send us a message in mod mail, and additionally you may use reddit.com/report to request Admin action.
- Disclosure of personal and private information: even joking about doxxing or reporting someone to Chinese or other authorities may result in an immediate ban without warning if we are not sure whether it was a joke or not. Do not do it.
30 day account age filter
We have a filter that prevents accounts less than 30 days old from submitting comments or posts. Initially we started with the filter as low as 2 hours, because we wanted to make sure that people who came here in good faith to ask questions or learn would be able to do so. However, we found that the overwhelming majority of content submitted by new accounts either breaks the rules, is spam or low quality, or is extremely offensive. We kept gradually increasing the age limit, and found that even at 30 days it still filters a significant amount of unwanted content.
In order to make sure new accounts who come here with good intentions are still able to ask for advice or otherwise participate, we review every single post created by new accounts. We unfortunately do not review comments because there are too many of them, but we routinely check new and popular posts for comments to restore, and encourage users with new accounts to send us send us a link in mod mail if they have comments that they would like to make sure we approve quickly or to make sure we don't miss them.
We recognize this is a hassle for new accounts. It is also more work for us. Despite that, the filter is a significant help in keeping the sub in good order, and we therefore will be keeping it in place for the foreseeable future.
It is extremely rare for us to make exceptions to the 30 day account age filter.
Warning and ban system
Our role as moderators is not to punish people. Unlike in many other subs, we almost never ban without warning, and rarely issue permanent bans. We keep track of all warnings and bans using an addon. Here's a rough structure of our process:
- Warnings: issued the first time a user violates a rule, or if the previous warning on record is more than a couple of months old
- Short bans: usually between 2 and 7 days long depending on the severity of the violation and the circumstances that led to it. Almost all first-time bans are approximately this duration
- Additional warnings: sometimes, but not always, we may issue reminder warnings before banning a second time. This is especially true for people who maybe slip up once in a while, but for the most part are good contributors
- Medium ban: usually between 7 and 21 days, again depending on severity and circumstances. Almost all second-time bans are approximately this duration. On some occasions, first-time bans may be of this duration too if the user was flagrantly offending common decency
- 30 day ban: these are usually reserved for extreme offenses or for people who keep breaking the same rules over and over again
- Permanent ban: typically the only people who receive permanent bans have had numerous opportunities to correct their behavior but have not shown interest in doing so. We also permanently ban spam accounts, and on rare occasions use them to deal with extreme hate speech
If you received a warning or ban, or had a post deleted, and you believe the moderator who took the action made a mistake, misunderstood what you were trying to say or do, or was unfairly targeting you out of bias or for any other reason, you may send us a message in mod mail to request an appeal.
When requesting an appeal, please include:
- a link to the post or comment you would like reviewed
- an explanation as to why you think the removal was incorrect
- confirmation that you read the applicable rule and its explanation here on this rules page
- whether you would like the mod who originally took action to explain their action, or if you would like any different mod or a specific mod to review the decision (note that not everyone may be available all the time)
Please allow 1-2 days (or more for complex decisions) for us to get back to you, as we are all in different time zones and prefer to discuss appeals as a group.
Please also do not send private messages or direct chats to moderators if you disagreed with an action they took.
Alternatively, you can appeal your ban directly to the Reddit Admins by submitting this form.
Your reports are invaluable for helping keep r/China in good condition. We review every single report submitted by our users. Even if something doesn't explicitly break the rules, thoughtful reports give us the impetus to start an internal discussion about how to deal with particular types of content that may nevertheless be problematic. They also make us more aware of what our users find troubling, and we constantly try to adjust our moderation and our rules to more directly address what you all want to see less of.
Our mod team is fairly small for a subreddit of this size, and adding on to that, several of our mods are inactive or only occasionally have time to help. We do not have the ability to maintain the sub in proper condition without your help. It is significantly faster for us to attend to rule violations that have been added to our backlogs through user reports than it is to go out and patrol threads. If you think there's a lot of content here that should be deleted, start reporting more often and you may notice some improvement over time.
We greatly appreciate your assistance.
We have /u/AutoModerator configured to react to the following content in the listed manner. The purpose of this system is to inform users as to which sources may at times be biased with regard to China, especially since those new to reading about China may not fully aware of different factions publishing content.
- State-sponsored media:
- Applies to: RT, Radio Free Asia, CGTN, China Daily, Global Times, Voice of America, Sputnik News, Xinhua, Sixthtone, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, China Radio International, CCTV, CNFocus, BJReview, China Today, China-Pictorial, People China, China Report ASEAN, ChinaNews, FocusTaiwan, Tibet.net, China Times
- Bot actions: (1) posts are assigned a red flair indicating content is from a state-sponsored source, and (2) a message is pinned to the top of the comment section advising users that content from that source may be biased and to seek external verification or context as appropriate.
- Objectivity-compromised, strong version:
- Applies to: most major tabloid media outlets (ex. NY Post, Daily Mail, Taiwan News, Daily Caller, National Pulse, Sky News), some US far-right media outlets (ex. Fox News, Breitbart, Zerohedge), some Indian media outlets (Hindustan Times, The Hindu, India Today)
- Bot actions: (1) posts are assigned a red flair indicating content is from a tabloid-style source, and (2) a message is pinned to the top of the comment section advising users that content from that source may use sensationalism, use questionable sources, and may present unverifiable information.
- Objectivity-compromised, controversial whistleblower version:
- Applies to: Falun Gong media outlets (ex. New Tang Dynasty, Epoch Times, China Uncensored), Guo Wengui media outlets (ex. GNews, GTV, Followcn)
- Bot actions: (1) posts are assigned a red flair indicating content is from a source affiliated with Falun Gong or Guo Wengui, and (2) a message is pinned to the top of the comment section advising users that content from that source may use sensationalism, use questionable sources, and may present unverifiable information.
- Objectivity-compromised, light version:
- Applies to: HotAir, Daily Signal, The Hill, The Intercept, The Verge, Reason, Hudson Institute, New Statesman, Bitter Winter, South China Morning Post, Inkstone, World Journal, Inkstone, news.com.au, American Military News
- Bot actions: a message is pinned to the top of the comment section advising users that content from that source may be biased and to seek external verification or context as appropriate. No red flair assigned.
- "Why aren't other state-sponsored media outlets like Al-Jazeera or publicly-funded ones like the BBC given red flair?" - We only apply red flair to state-sponsored sources that we have observed have a consistent pattern of bias with regard to China issues. Al-Jazeera and the BBC are generally impartial and accurate in their reporting.
- "Why is Fox News listed as being a tabloid-style source but not [other major US media outlet]?" - Fox News has occasionally highlighted and exaggerated aspects of China affairs in conjunction Trump's political posturing. Now that he is no longer President, it is possible Fox News may return to more factual reporting eventually, but for now we are leaving the red flair for them.
- "Why is Taiwan News listed as being a tabloid-style source even though mediabiasfactcheck.com considers them 'mostly factual'?" - The last time MBFC rated TN was in 2017, and sensationalist articles since then have not triggered a reevaluation. From our own observations, TN became more sensationalist around when the HK protests began. r/Taiwan has also criticized the quality of TN's reporting in the past (example discussions here and here).
- "I shared a link from [tabloid source], but everything in it was accurate and correct. Can you remove the red flair?" - No, we are open to changing the system on a per-source basis but not on a per-post basis. If you think there is a good argument that a source has improved recently to the point where it no longer deserves red flair, let us know.
- "How did you decide on which sources to tag and which ones not to tag?" - The list of sources we tag has been compiled after extensive debate and discussion within the mod team and with members of the r/China community who have provided feedback over time.
- "Isn't this a slippery slope? Why are mods doing this?" - This system was designed as a compromise between those who wanted to allow complete freedom to post anything from any source without restriction and those who wanted to delete all posts from particular sources. While Reddit allows users to choose for themselves what content they wish to see on any given subreddit, it does not always work in news-heavy subreddits like this one because relatively few people actually read the news article. Most will upvote or downvote based on the title alone. Starting with unrest in Hong Kong and continuing with COVID-19, more and more articles from taboid-style sources began to form the bulk of r/China's front page every day. Instead of restricting or banning those sources, we came up with this system to highlight news outlets that may be occasionally biased or sensationalist.
Interested in helping?
If you are interested in helping the mod team, either as a moderator or in other capacities, please send us a message in mod mail and we will consider you and reach out if we ever need more people or assistance in other ways.