(ECNS) -- Nearly 60 percent of rumors start on Chinese microblogging site Weibo, with subsequent spreading at a peak on Tuesdays, according to a report.
New media development in Asia is on the rise. By the end of 2014, China alone was home to more than 649 million new media users or 21.6 percent of new media users globally. However, the massive world of new media is proving to be a hatchery for rumors, especially on social media platforms such as Weibo and WeChat.
The report, called the Annual Report on Development of New Media in China (2014), was drafted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, which has published annual research for the past six years.
The report includes multi-dimensional analyses of 92 typically false news articles, or rumors, from 2014 and shows that 59 percent had their beginnings on Weibo.
Next on the list was Internet media, which was responsible for spawning 32 percent of false news stories. Meanwhile, seven percent of such news originate on WeChat.
Food security is the most common theme with 284 false news articles revealed in the report. Other popular topics include: personal security (278), disease-related issues (259), fitness and healthcare tips (179), anti-fraud tips (133), money (60), and child-parent relationships (52).
Online rumors peak on Tuesdays and remain active from Monday to Wednesday.
Compared to central and western China, coastal areas in the east pay more attention to online rumors. This happens because people in east China are more likely to have Internet access and more attentive to their quality of life.
As an open online platform, Weibo allows opposing information to collide and thus offers its own self-correction effect against rumors. In comparison, WeChat's online space appears more closed and is less capable of fighting off rumors on its own.