Prevent Internet addiction and create a clean cyberspace——

Caring for the healthy growth of minors (rule of law headlines)

"Children spend most of their summer playing games online, and it's hard to 'pull' them out." Recently, Mr. Yin of Haidian District, Beijing, reported that his child is in high school, and in the past two years, he has been exposed to electronic products frequently, and the problem of Internet addiction has become increasingly serious, and his learning has been greatly affected. Although he repeatedly communicated with his children and even stopped the Internet at home, his self-control was not enough to resist the temptation of online games, "Even if some games have anti-addiction systems, children can always find ways to bypass restrictions." Mr. Yin said.

The reporter's recent investigation found that the Internet has become an important tool for minors to learn, entertain and socialize, but minors' use of the Internet urgently needs to be guided and regulated, especially in the fields of online games and live broadcasts, minors are prone to addiction, which has a negative impact on their normal study and life, and even induces crime. In the face of various risks and infringements that may exist for minors in the use of the Internet, it is urgent to strengthen the protection of minors' rights and interests online, and it is necessary for the government, schools, families, society, enterprises and other parties to further form a joint force.

The money in the account "disappeared", and it turned out that the child was addicted to the game and recharged a large amount

Shi Ping (pseudonym) from Shanxi has been working abroad, but in order to prevent her children from continuing to be addicted to the Internet, she had to give up her job and return to her rural hometown.

Previously, her 9-year-old went to school in her hometown and was looked after by her grandparents. In order to take online lessons, the couple gave an old mobile phone to their children, but they did not expect to bury hidden dangers.

"My husband did real-name authentication once when he shared this mobile phone, and I didn't want my child to log in with one click when he used his mobile phone to play games again, and he didn't need real-name authentication anymore." Shi Ping said that the grandparents who are usually in charge of taking care of them do not use smartphones very well, and they do not know much about what their children do with mobile phones online.

Until one day, grandpa took his bank card to withdraw money, and found that the money in the account had long been "gone", and the couple realized something strange. After some understanding, it turned out that his child was addicted to an online game, constantly recharging and spending in the game, and the mobile phone was bound to his grandfather's bank card, "The child just started playing the game just to recharge a few dollars, and then it became hundreds or hundreds of recharge." ”

Shi Ping calculated that from March to May this year, the child accumulated more than 3,5 yuan in the game. To this end, she has been complaining to the game company and the relevant departments for a refund, and at the same time decided to go home to take care of the child herself, urging the child to restrain from the precipice.

Li Chaofeng, director of Beijing Huixiang Law Firm, said that minors over the age of 8 are persons with limited capacity for civil conduct. According to the provisions of the Civil Code, civil legal acts that restrict the pure benefit of a person with civil capacity or civil legal acts that are appropriate to his age, intelligence and mental health are valid; Other civil legal acts carried out are valid after the consent or posthumous recognition of the legal representative. "For minors who recharge and tip online, if the relevant behavior obviously exceeds the appropriate level for their age and intelligence, and the legal representative does not agree or recognize it, the corresponding recharge amount shall be returned in accordance with relevant laws and regulations."

"In disputes over network service contracts involving minors, recharge and tipping cases account for a relatively high percentage." Sun Mingxi, president of the Juvenile Court of the Beijing Internet Court, said that of the 2022 cases involving the future accepted by the court from June 6 to May 2023, 5 were disputes over network service contracts, accounting for 143.55%, of which mainly game recharge and live broadcast tipping cases.

In recent years, there have been increasing disputes over minors indulging in "casual games" with a certain degree of luck and making large recharges. A typical case released by the Beijing Internet Court shows that 17-year-old Person A recharged a large amount of money to a game software from February to March 2020, amounting to more than 2,3 yuan. However, at the time of the recharge involved in the case, Person A had already uploaded his real identity document for real-name authentication at the request of the system.

"Where minors have undergone real-name authentication and online platforms allow them to recharge and give tips, they should be deemed to have committed major fault." Judge Cui Lu of the Juvenile Court of the Beijing Internet Court said that if an online gaming platform should know or know that the counterparty is a minor, but still uses technical restrictions as the reason for not substantially implementing measures to protect minors, and fails to take effective measures to restrict large purchases by minors, the court finds that the online game platform is seriously at fault and shall return the recharge in accordance with law.

"Minors' online entertainment consumption urgently needs to be strengthened." Sun Mingxi said that in the relevant cases heard by the court, minors used games or live streaming services for periods ranging from six months to two years, and there were even cases where individual minors again concealed their parents after their parents prevented them from recharging and successfully obtained a refund from the platform. The case also reflects that the bad behavior of minors using the Internet is easy to affect each other, and some minors learn to download games, register accounts, and circumvent platform restrictions under the guidance of other minors.

Sun Mingxi believes that minors' Internet literacy needs to be improved, guardians' insufficient supervision and management of minors' use of the Internet, and insufficient protection measures for minors on online platforms are important factors that lead to minors' Internet addiction, impulse consumption, being harmed by bad information, or committing online infringement.

The bottleneck of the "adolescent mode" needs to be solved urgently

From May to June 2022, Gao Moumou, who was still a minor, repeatedly used the method of stealing other people's mobile phones for transfers, stealing more than 5,6 yuan from others' Alipay and bank card accounts for online game account recharge and purchasing equipment. An investigation by the Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Procuratorate found that Gao downloaded a game training APP through a mobile phone application market, trained games for adult customers and received remuneration, playing games for more than 1 hours a day, and inducing crimes due to addiction to online games.

In response to the lack of implementation of measures to prevent minors' addiction to the Internet exposed by the case, the procuratorate issued procuratorial recommendations to the company that developed and operated the mobile phone application market, suggesting that it conduct a comprehensive review of all listed apps, establish a regular inspection system, smooth channels for accepting complaints, and improve working mechanisms for the protection of minors.

For online anti-addiction, since 2019, the "teen mode" launched by major video, short video, social network, game and other online platforms has played a positive role in helping minors reduce online dependence and bad information on the Internet, but there are still some bottlenecks that need to be solved urgently. According to the 2021 National Research Report on Internet Usage of Minors, although 85.9% of minors and 91.6% of parents know about "teen mode", less than 31% of minors and parents have set up "teen mode", and 9.<>% of minor netizens have used their parents' accounts to play games.

"In reality, the 'youth model' of some platforms is just a formality, which exposes problems such as insufficient awareness of the responsibility of minors protection of enterprises and the need to enhance the endogenous motivation of enterprises." Zheng Ning, director of the Law Department of the School of Cultural Industry Management at Communication University of China, said that for example, the creation and operation of a "content pool" that is attractive to minors and has a high degree of age-matching under the "youth model" may exceed the capabilities of some small and medium-sized enterprises; At the same time, if there is a lack of clear guidelines and norms, under the fierce industry competition, enterprises that more strictly implement the "youth model" may have the phenomenon of user loss, resulting in "bad money driving out good money".

Recently, the Central Cyberspace Administration said that this year it will comprehensively upgrade the "youth mode" to the "minor mode", promote the expansion of the coverage of the model from APP to mobile smart terminals and app stores, realize the linkage of software and hardware, and build a solid defense line for the protection of minors.

"Online problems often have offline roots." Zheng Ning said that for example, minors lack the company of their parents, and their after-school cultural life is not rich enough, which may lead to Internet addiction, "The implementation of the principle of the best benefit for minors in the protection of minors not only means that Internet companies must fulfill their social responsibilities, but also involve the government, society, schools, and parents." ”

Minors' online rights and interests need to be fully protected

Currently, the problems that minors face online are not just addiction. In 2021, the scale of minor Internet users in China has reached 1 million, and the Internet penetration rate of minors has reached 91.96%, and the awareness and ability of minors to use the Internet safely and reasonably are not strong, online violations and adverse information affect the physical and mental health of minors, and minors' personal information is indiscriminately collected and abused, which also affects the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of minors.

"All kinds of infringement of minors' lawful rights and interests online are comprehensive, and their rights and interests protection mechanisms should also be comprehensive." Lin Wei, vice president of the University of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and director of the Internet Rule of Law Research Center, said that among the current laws and regulations, the Law on the Protection of Minors has a special chapter on "network protection"; Departmental rules such as the Provisions on the Online Protection of Children's Personal Information, the Provisions on the Governance of the Online Information Content Ecosystem, and the Provisions on the Administration of Internet Information Service Algorithm Recommendations all have relevant provisions on the online protection of minors, and the system for the protection of minors online has been continuously improved.

At present, the two-month "Qinglang 2023 Summer Online Environment Rectification for Minors" special action has been launched, focusing on rectifying prominent problems involving minors online, comprehensively compressing the living space of invisible mutations of harmful information, resolutely curbing illegal acts that infringe on the rights and interests of minors, further improving the security standards for information content of exclusive products and services such as learning apps and children's smart devices, and promoting the solution of the problem of online addiction.

Recently, the Ministry of Justice and the Cyberspace Administration of China also studied and reviewed the "Regulations on the Protection of Minors Online (Draft)", and after further revision and improvement, they will accelerate the legislative process of the regulations. The draft focuses on the prominent problems faced by the online protection of minors, summarizes the practical experience of the online protection of minors in recent years, upgrades mature practices to laws and regulations, and improves the comprehensive network governance system.

"To create an online environment conducive to the healthy growth of minors, it is necessary to further strengthen the judicial protection of minors online." Lin Wei said that at the civil level, for example, representative rules can be further summarized for relevant typical cases, and guidance on behavior and compliance can be provided for minors, their guardians, Internet enterprises and other relevant subjects; At the criminal level, it is necessary to promptly summarize the rules for crimes involving minors, increase the intensity of protecting minors and combating crime, and promote comprehensive social management. "Minors are the future of the country and the hope of the nation, and special protection and priority protection for minors should be highlighted in judicial practice, so as to create a clean and healthy cyberspace for the majority of minors." Lin Wei said.

Reporter Zhang Xuan (Li Zhiyi participated in the writing) (Source: People's Daily)