In order to punish illegal and criminal activities of online violence in accordance with the law and effectively protect citizens' personality rights and interests and normal online order, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Civil Code, Civil Procedure Law, and Public Security Administration Punishment Law, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and the Ministry of Public Security have drafted the Guiding Opinions on Lawfully Punishing Online Violent Crimes (Draft for Comments), which are now open to the public for comments, and the deadline for feedback is June 2023, 6.
Members of the public can submit comments through:
163. Please send the e-mail to: xsjsxgca@<>.com;
27. Please send the letter to: Research Office of the Supreme People's Court, No. 100745 Dongjiaomin Lane, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Zip Code: 147; Legal Policy Research Office, Supreme People's Procuratorate, No. 100726 Beiheyan Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, <>.
Please mark the subject or envelope of the email with "Feedback on the Punishment of Online Violence Document".
Supreme People's Court, Supreme People's Procuratorate, Ministry of Public Security
Guiding Opinions on Lawfully Punishing Online Violence Crimes
(Draft for solicitation of comments)
These Opinions are formulated in accordance with the Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Civil Code, Civil Procedure Law, Public Security Administration Punishment Law, and other laws and regulations, combined with law enforcement and judicial practice, so as to lawfully punish illegal and criminal activities of online violence and effectively preserve citizens' personality rights and interests and normal online order.
1. Fully understand the social harms of online violence, and lawfully preserve citizens' rights and interests and online order
1. Wantonly publishing online violence such as insults, rumors and slander, invasion of privacy, etc. against individuals on the Internet, degrading the personality of others, damaging the reputation of others, and some causing serious consequences such as "social death" or even mental disorder and suicide of others; Disrupting network order and undermining the network ecology will lead to rampant anger in cyberspace, seriously affecting the public's sense of security. Unlike traditional violations and crimes, online violence is often committed against strangers who have never known each other, and victims have practical difficulties in identifying the infringer and collecting evidence, and the cost of rights protection is extremely high. People's courts, people's procuratorates, and public security organs should fully understand the social harms of online violence, adhere to a severe punishment stance, be able to perform their duties in accordance with law, provide adequate legal remedies for victims of "online violence," preserve citizens' lawful rights and interests, preserve the public's sense of security, and maintain normal online order.
2. Accurately apply the law, and severely punish illegal crimes of online violence in accordance with law
2. Punish online defamation in accordance with law. Whoever creates or spreads rumors on an information network, degrads the personality of others, or damages the reputation of others, and the circumstances are serious and comply with the provisions of article <> of the Criminal Law, shall be convicted and punished as the crime of defamation.
3. Punish online insults in accordance with law. Where methods such as wanton insulting, vicious attacks, or disclosure of privacy are used on information networks to openly insult others, and the circumstances are serious, and meet the provisions of article <> of the Criminal Law, they shall be convicted and punished as the crime of insult.
4. Lawfully punish conduct infringing on citizens' personal information. Where organizing "human flesh searches" to illegally collect and release citizens' personal information on an information network to an unspecified majority of people, and the circumstances are serious and comply with the provisions of article <>-<> of the Criminal Law, they are convicted and punished as the crime of infringing on citizens' personal information.
5. Punish offline nuisance in accordance with law. Where online violence is extended offline, and nuisance acts such as intercepting and insulting, provoking trouble, intimidation, or destroying property are carried out against those who have been abused online, and that comply with the provisions of Articles <> and <> of the Criminal Law, they shall be convicted and punished as the crimes of intentional destruction of property or picking quarrels and provoking trouble.
6. Lawfully punish malicious marketing and hype carried out through online violence. Where network service providers fail to lawfully perform information network security management obligations for discovered online violence information for purposes such as stir-up popularity, promotion and drainage, and refuse to make corrections after being ordered to take corrective measures by the regulatory departments, resulting in a large amount of illegal information being disseminated or other serious circumstances, and comply with the provisions of article <>-<> of the Criminal Law, they shall be convicted and punished as the crime of refusing to perform information network security management obligations; Where other crimes are also constituted, conviction and punishment shall be in accordance with the provisions on heavier punishment.
7. Lawfully punish illegal acts of online violence. Where online acts of violence such as online defamation or insults do not constitute a crime, and comply with the provisions of the Public Security Administration Punishment Law and so forth, administrative punishments are to be given in accordance with law.
8. Strictly punish online violence violations and crimes in accordance with law. Persist in strict law enforcement and justice, and seriously pursue online violence violations and crimes in accordance with law, and truly correct the erroneous tendency of "the law does not blame the public." It is necessary to focus on cracking down on malicious initiators, organizers, those who promote the situation, and those who repeatedly do not change. The spirit of severe punishment shall be reflected in online violence and crimes, so that the people can fully feel fairness and justice. In any of the following circumstances, those who carry out online violence violations and crimes shall be given a heavier punishment:
(1) Targeted at minors or persons with disabilities;
(2) Organizing "water army" and "thugs" to implement;
(3) Fabricating "sex-related" topics that infringe on the personal dignity of others;
(4) Using "deep synthesis" technology to publish illegal or bad information, violating public order and good customs, ethics and morality;
(5) Initiated or organized by network service providers.
9. Do a good job of civil rights protection work in accordance with law. Where online violence is committed against others, infringing on others' rights to reputation, privacy, or other personality rights, and the victim requests that the perpetrator bear civil liability, the people's courts support it in accordance with law.
10. Accurately grasp the criteria for identifying illegal and criminal acts. Reporting or exposing other people's crimes or violations of law and discipline through information networks, as long as they are not intentionally fabricated facts or knowingly disseminated facts that are fabricated, shall not be recognized as defamation crimes. Commenting on or criticizing others' words and deeds, even if the views are biased or the remarks are excessive, as long as they are not wanton insults or malicious slander, they should not be regarded as insulting violations and crimes.
3. Unblock litigation procedures and provide effective legal remedies in a timely manner
11. Implement legal provisions on public security organs' assistance in the collection of evidence. Where victims initiate private prosecutions for online insults or defamation, and the people's courts, upon review, find that the victims have genuine difficulties in providing evidence, they may request that the public security organs provide assistance in accordance with the third paragraph of Criminal Law article <>. Public security organs shall, on the basis of people's court requirements and the specific circumstances of the case, promptly identify the subject of the conduct, and collect evidence materials such as the spread and spread of relevant insulting or defamatory information and the impact it causes. Where the public security organs assist in collecting evidence and meet the requirements for accepting private prosecution cases, the people's courts shall decide to file the case; Where relevant evidence and materials cannot be collected, the public security organs shall explain the circumstances in writing to the people's courts.
12. Accurately grasp the conditions for prosecution of crimes of insult and defamation. According to the second paragraph of article <> of the Criminal Law, where the crime of insult or slander is committed, seriously endangering social order and the interests of the State, a public prosecution shall be initiated. Judgments shall be made on whether online insults or defamation seriously endanger social order based on factors such as the target of the infringement, the motive and purpose, the mode of conduct, the scope of information dissemination, and the harmful consequences.
In any of the following circumstances, the carrying out of online insults or defamation shall be found to be "seriously endangering social order" as provided for in the second paragraph of Criminal Law article 246:
(1) Causing serious consequences such as mental disorder or suicide of the victim, and the impact is bad;
(2) Arbitrarily targeting the general public for infringement, and relevant information is widely disseminated on the Internet, causing a large number of vulgar and malicious comments, seriously undermining network order, and affecting the public's sense of security;
(3) Insulting or slandering many people, causing a bad social impact;
(4) Repeatedly disseminating defamatory or insulting information, or organizing or instructing personnel to disseminate a large number of defamatory or insulting information, causing a bad social impact;
(5) Other situations that seriously endanger social order.
13. Apply the public prosecution procedures for criminal cases of insult and defamation in accordance with law. Public security organs shall promptly file a case in accordance with law for online insults or defamation crimes that seriously endanger social order. Where victims simultaneously file a private prosecution with the people's court, the people's court shall persuade the private prosecutor to withdraw the private prosecution or rule inadmissible; Where it has already been accepted, a ruling shall be made to terminate the trial, and the original private prosecutor may participate in the litigation as a victim. Where victims initiate private prosecutions for online insults or defamation, and the people's courts find after review that the conduct seriously endangers social order, they shall transfer the case to the public security organs.
14. Strengthen case filing and supervision work. Where the people's procuratorate finds that the public security organs should file a case for investigation but does not file a case for investigation, or where the victim believes that the public security organ should file a case for investigation but does not file a case for investigation, and submits it to the people's procuratorate, the people's procuratorate shall request that the public security organ explain the reasons for not filing the case. Where the people's procuratorate finds that the reasons for the public security organ's failure to file a case cannot be established, it shall notify the public security organ to file the case, and the public security organ shall file the case after receiving the notice.
Higher-level public security organs shall strengthen operational guidance and internal oversight of lower-level public security organs' efforts to file online violence cases.
15. Apply the system of prohibition on infringement of personality rights in accordance with law. Where the right holder has evidence to prove that the perpetrator is committing or is about to commit an illegal act infringing on his personality rights, and failure to stop it in a timely manner will cause irreparable damage to his lawful rights and interests, and applies to the people's court for measures ordering the actor to stop the relevant conduct in accordance with Article <> of the Civil Code, the people's court may, on the basis of the specific circumstances of the case, make an injunction on the infringement of personality rights in accordance with law.
16. Filing public interest lawsuits in accordance with law. Where online violence harms the public interest, the people's procuratorates may file a public interest lawsuit with the people's court in accordance with law.
Where network service providers do not lawfully perform information network security management obligations with respect to discovered online violence information, resulting in a large amount of illegal information being disseminated or other serious circumstances that harm the public interest, the people's procuratorates may lawfully file a public interest lawsuit with the people's courts.
4. Implement relevant work requirements and effectively improve comprehensive management measures
17. Effectively protect victims' rights and interests. In response to the reality that relevant online violence information is widely disseminated, the harm is great, and the impact is difficult to eliminate, information on the progress of the case should be promptly released to the public in accordance with law, clarifying the truth of the facts, and effectively eliminating the negative impact. Lawfully apply a lenient system for admitting guilt and accepting punishment, prompting defendants to admit guilt and accept punishment, sincerely repent, and use methods such as public apologies through the media to achieve effective protection of victims' personality rights.
18. Strengthen cohesion and cooperation. People's courts, people's procuratorates, and public security organs should strengthen communication and coordination, unify law enforcement and judicial concepts, unify understanding of the characterization of online violence and case handling procedures, orderly connect private prosecution procedures with public prosecution procedures, and ensure the smooth investigation, prosecution, and trial of cases. For major, sensitive, and complex cases, public security organs should promptly hear the opinions and suggestions of the people's procuratorates to ensure that the cases are handled safely in accordance with law.
19. Do a good job of publicizing the rule of law. It is necessary to conscientiously implement the responsibility system of "whoever enforces the law popularizes the law", and give full play to the role of law enforcement in guiding rules, guiding values, and norming behavior. Publish typical cases of online violence in a timely manner, clearly convey to society that "cyberspace is not a place outside the law", educate and guide the majority of netizens to consciously abide by the law, and lead the social civilization trend.
20. Promote comprehensive management of online violence. Based on law enforcement and judicial functions, on the basis of lawfully handling cases related to online violence, do actual litigation source governance, deeply analyze the root causes that breed and promote the occurrence of online violence, proactively submit judicial and procuratorial suggestions to relevant regulatory departments, promote the continuous improvement of long-term mechanisms for online violence governance, fundamentally reduce the occurrence of online violence, and create a clear cyberspace.