China’s state-run news site Xinhua reports that Internet firms in China are being called upon to prevent the spread of online rumours. The Internet Society of China released a paper today entitled ‘Written Proposal on Resisting Internet Rumors’, that details methods to clamp down on online rumours amongst other perceived issues. The paper urges Internet companies to take “effective measures” to prevent online rumours by “seriously obeying the country’s laws and regulations as well as self-disciplinary rules.” These outlines seem to be particularly focused towards China’s microblogging services. Recently Sina Weibo and Tencent had to suspend their commenting function for 4 days, in a move many saw as authorities punishing the two sites for allegedly spreading rumours of a coup. According to the Xinhua report, Beijing police have arrested 1,065 suspects and deleted over 208,000 online messages they considered “harmful” since February. 16 other websites have also been shut down over “rumours”. There is certainly a tightening of restrictions on free speech in China at the moment. Recently real name regulations have been passed, forcing users on microblogging services to be held accountable for their posts. This has apparently not been enough to deter unwanted rumours and gossip. Steven Millward, of Tech in… Read full this story
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