Police continue purge of online rumormongering

2023-07-06 09:31:44China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Police across the country have investigated some 1,600 cases involving the spread of rumors online and removed around 420,000 posts since April, according to the Ministry of Public Security on Tuesday.

They also banned around 10,000 online social media accounts for rumormongering and punished a number of netizens for engaging in such activities, the ministry said.

The cybersecurity protection bureau of the ministry launched a 100-day nationwide operation in April targeting the organizers and posters of malicious online rumors.

An official with the bureau said some content creators fabricate online rumors under the guise of hot social events to attract followers and make illegal profits.

He added that some websites and internet companies didn't shoulder their responsibility of safeguarding network security, allowing online rumors to spread on their platforms, resulting in an adverse social impact.

Additionally, some online ghost writers maliciously hype hot social topics and cases creating clickbait to garner attention, he said.

The official warned that these acts disrupt the order of cyberspace and society, and may violate provisions of the Law on Public Security Administration Punishment.

In one case released by the ministry on Tuesday, a male internet celebrity surnamed Chen in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, released a video in April claiming that he had been "kidnapped", along with a copy of a ransom note from the kidnappers asking for 500,000 yuan ($69,000).

In the video clip, he was squatting with his hands tied behind his back. After it was published, Chen's shortvideo account received hundreds of likes and some netizens reported the "kidnapping" to the police.

Police found that Chen directed and acted in the so-called kidnapping by himself and then posted the video, resulting in many netizens forwarding it.

Chen's actions seriously disturbed the public order and had a bad social impact, and he has been detained for further investigation, according to Shenzhen police.

The bureau will intensify the efforts in the special operation and resolutely curb the frequent occurrence of online rumors, said the official, reminding the public to strictly abide by laws and regulations while online and not believe in, spread or fabricate rumors.


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