China cracks down on microblogging rumours that are “worse than cocaine”

Online rumours are drugs that damage users and harm society, the Chinese state media have claimed, as officials step up attempts to rein in the countrys hugely popular microblogs.One commentary, published by the official Xinhua news agency, warns that while heroin and cocaine damage health, internet rumours are worse because they “poison the social environment and affect social order”.Another, on Peoples Daily Online, is titled: “Internet rumours are drugs: please resist and stay away from them.” It calls for zero tolerance, suggests they “damage people and society” as narcotics do, and accuses rumour-mongers of having ulterior motives and “kidnapping public opinion”.The intensification of attacks on “rumours” emerged as officials said they had detained several people for spreading rumours online and amid increasing controls on microblogs, which have been urging users to register their real names and deleting accounts deemed to have crossed the line.China has 300 million registered microblog users and while services are censored – blocking prevents sensitive terms from being posted, and other material is often deleted – authorities are increasingly concerned at the speed at which information can spread.

via China cracks down on microblogging rumours that are worse than cocaine | World news | The Guardian.

 

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