373 accounts shuttered to curb online deception

2023-07-17 09:17:33China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The Cyberspace Administration of China shuttered 373 accounts that promoted false information about public policy, the body said in a statement on Saturday.

The administration said that to combat such behavior, it has taken action against social media accounts that have been fabricating or distorting public policy, and spreading baseless rumors and misinformation.

The accounts have been disseminating deceptive content to boost their online popularity and profit from misleading the public, it said.

Among the cases disclosed by the administration was an article that claimed that a conference had been planned to discuss fiscal and economic policies, causing fluctuations in the stock market. These types of rumors, presented as authoritative, can have a severely negative impact on society, so accounts spreading these types of rumors on platforms such as WeChat and Sina Weibo have been shut down in accordance with the law, the administration said.

In another case, a number of accounts asserted that they belonged to a "national leading group for improving underdeveloped areas" and falsely claimed that they could help cities and counties obtain government subsidies ranging from 1 billion ($140 million) to 10 billion yuan. These accounts have also been closed, the administration said.

In addition, investigations into a widely shared video on a popular short-video platform showing a young girl from Liangshan in Sichuan province, an underdeveloped area, collecting and selling bottles to pay for her education revealed that she had been coerced into making the video.

In reality, her school had already waived her tuition fees, provided her with free textbooks and exercise books, and even offered free meals and a living allowance. The accounts responsible for spreading the video have been dealt with according to the law.

The administration said that it will continue to take action against the spread of rumors, strictly investigate account owners, expose cases and create a strong deterrent. Meanwhile, it welcomes alerts from departments and netizens and their help in working together to curtail rumors and shape a more reliable and credible digital landscape.

In 2021, the CAC launched "Operation Qinglang" ("clear and bright"), which was designed to create a clean internet environment.

In its most recent move in May, the CAC permanently closed down 66,600 individual social media and online accounts after a two-month investigation as part of a special campaign to crack down on rumormongering, imposture and illegal for-profit activities.


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