[JIN DING/CHINA DAILY]
You will no doubt have experienced this: When browsing online, an advertisement window pops up, with so low quality that you do not want to waste a single second on it. Yet when you try to close it, you can't locate the "close" button. When you do finally find it after clicking on many parts of the screen and you are able to "close" the window, immediately another ad pops up.
According to a survey conducted by wenjuan.com in 2018, over 99.1 percent of those surfing online were plagued by such advertisements, while 82.4 percent said they were sick and tired of them.
The State Administration for Market Regulation recently released a draft regulation on internet advertisements to solicit public opinions, which clearly states that internet advertisements that appear as pop-up windows or display videos should carry clear, unambiguous "close" buttons and ensure that no other ad is triggered after the user clicks the button.
It also listed other categories of problematic internet advertisements, such as those hidden at the end of web pages that look to be part of the content, or those appearing at the beginning of online videos.
The draft regulation has hit the point. People surf the internet to obtain information, to purchase goods or services or for entertainment, not to see advertisements and become money-making tools for commercial advertisers. Moreover, online advertisements that cannot be closed conveniently violate the legal rights and interests of consumers and contaminate the whole internet environment. The draft regulation shows the authorities want to improve the internet environment and enhance people's sense of happiness.
Of course, that does not mean the internet cannot have advertisements. Advertisements are an important part of the internet world, and they support the development of the internet. However, there is a redline that advertisements should never cross, namely that they cannot impose themselves on people against their will.
That's where the regulation can help. It is time for such a regulation to play its long deserved role so as to guide the internet industry to develop in a healthier, more sustainable way.
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