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LinkAsia | Nov 16
Chinese microbloggers were hard at work giving counter-spin to the Communist Party's propaganda machine during the first meeting of the 18th Nation...
So how do you rein in rumors on the internet? The Internet Society of China is proposing that internet companies should do more to police their users. What's this really about? According to CCTV, it's a reaction to the rumors that sprang up when Bo Xilai was fired last month. Since then, more than a thousand people have been arrested for spreading false information online. And the government shut down commenting on microblogs for 72 hours. Here's the official story from CCTV.
This is what the spread of online rumors leads to.
I heard salt prices are going up, so I bought ten bags.
At this Lanzhou supermarket, thousand of bags of salt were bought up within 40 minutes, despite no sign of a rise in salt prices.
Shi Xiansheng, Vice Secretary General, China Internet Association:
Some online rumors are very close to public life, such a rising prices, food security, and natural disasters. These rumors touch people's lives.
China's internet association has published a proposal to curb the spread of online rumors. The move follows a temporary shutdown of posting comments on China's popular microblogging web service Weibo after rumors spread last month of an attempted coup in Beijing.
The internet brings people convenience, and changes the way of working and living. It is very influential. However, it can also disturb peoples' lives and be harmful to society when it serves as a platform to spread rumors. So we need to have some regulations to curb online rumors.
According to the association, Weibo has more than 800 million users. Experts say the large user base provides channels and opportunities to spread rumors widely and rapidly. Mr. Shi believes that microblogging companies should take responsibility in preventing the spread of online rumors.
Website companies, especially big ones, should promote spreading positive information and culture, and delete rumors in time.
He also pointed out that the proposal aims to remind internet users to distinguish rumors from facts.
The Chinese government just announced that it shut down 40 websites and deleted 200,000 comments on social media this past month.