A member of the Young Pioneers of China adjusts her iconic red scarf. Police in China have detained a woman they accused of insulting the outfit, which they said represents the country's flag and the blood of Communist martyrs.
CNN —  

A woman in southwest China has been detained by police after she posted a video online showing herself catching fish while wearing a red scarf associated with the Young Pioneers of China, a Communist Party organization.

According to the state-run Global Times, the woman, with the surname Tang, had more than 3 million views on videos she posted to her profile on the TikTok-style short video streaming app Kuaishou.

In many of her videos posted since 2018, Tang wore a red scarf. In a statement Monday, police said doing so was disrespectful because the scarf “represents a corner of the red flag and symbolizes the revolutionary tradition.”

“Tang’s behavior has seriously defiled patriotic heroes and martyrs, the glory of the Young Pioneers, and people’s love for the country symbolized by the red scarf, causing a bad influence on society,” police said.

She was arrested late last month and detained for 12 days. Tang was also ordered to pay a fine of $150 and to delete the offending videos from her account.

Tang fell afoul of the Law on Heroes and Martyrs Protection, enacted last year, which “bans activities that defame heroes and martyrs or distort and diminish their deeds.”

Livestreaming and short video apps are hugely popular in China, but their growth hasn’t been greeted with enthusiasm by the government, which operates one of the largest internet censorship platforms in the world, known as the Great Firewall. Internet censorship has massively ramped up under President Xi Jinping, alongside a general crackdown on civil society.

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In 2016, the Cyberspace Administration of China issued a 20-point edict “promoting the healthy and orderly development” of the livestreaming industry, prohibiting users from posting content that could “endanger national security and undermine social stability.”

Streaming companies were also required to have the technical capability to block live broadcasts, and to establish a blacklist of users found guilty of breaching regulations.

Short video apps have also come in for government criticism, despite the global success of domestic app TikTok, known as Douyin in China. In January, authorities introduced 100 categories of banned content, from insulting Communist Party leaders to sexual moaning, and ordered companies to do more to police their platforms.