China bans nose picking and spanking in moral panic over intimate online videos

Picking your nose or getting a spanking will get you banned from streaming on China's biggest internet platform WeChat.

The Chinese social media platform has published a list of "common violations" that will get you kicked out, including nose picking and spanking "games".

The service, which is used by more than a billion people worldwide and China's most popular social messaging app, wants to tidy up its image because it is heavily regulated by the government.

Its "Channels" tool, which launched last year, enables users to broadcast and watch livestreams.

But Chinese authorities have been increasingly clamping down on political or what it considers to be "indecent" content online.

That has led to WeChat publishing what it considers to be more than 70 "common violations," including, bizarrely, spanking and nose picking.

WeChat is a vital communications tool for millions of Chinese people living abroad because other platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter and Google are blocked in the country.

It is not the first time WeChat has been involved in bans influenced by the state.

Despite about 19million WeChat users in the US, in August last year former president Donald Trump effectively banned the service across the country.

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As part of an executive order, the billionaire prohibited anyone from "engaging in any transaction that is related to WeChat".

In response, nonprofit organisation the WeChat Users Alliance is suing the Trump administration in a bid to overturn the decision.

The lawsuit accused Trump and his team of exceeding his authority under the Fifth Amendment and was unconstitutional as it violated the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

While the lawsuit is ongoing, the group were granted temporary relief by the appeals court in October last when it said it would remove the ban during litigation.

However, in February, current US President Joe Biden paused legal proceedings to fully investigate a multiple of bans by Trump's office.

This has allowed the platform to temporarily continue to provide its service across the United States.

According to a 1995 study, 91% of adults in the US admitted to picking their noses, with 1.2% confessing to doing it at least once an hour.

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