Date
17 December 2017
Chinese authorities are launching a fresh drive to curb the spread of rumors through online messaging platforms. Photo: Bloomberg
Chinese authorities are launching a fresh drive to curb the spread of rumors through online messaging platforms. Photo: Bloomberg

China to curb ‘misinformation’ on instant messaging platforms

China launched on Tuesday a one-month campaign to curb the dissemination of “unhealthy” and “illegal” information on instant messaging services such as WeChat, China News Service reported.

Officials from the State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Public Security are said to have held a joint meeting Tuesday to discuss the campaign.

An official was quoted as saying that although service providers like WeChat, which now has more than 800 million users, have become the most important and popular instant messaging platforms and making great contributions to the society, some people have been using them to spread misinformation.

Such acts have caused distress to other users and also endangered national interests, the official said.

According to the official, the campaign, which targets public accounts on instant messaging services that can spread information on a large scale and mobilize followers, aims to curb rumors and misinformation on topics such as acts of violence, terror, financial scams and personal scandals.

In the campaign, authorities will suppress any infiltrative acts against the government, both from within and outside the country.

Service providers that do not fulfill their management responsibilities will face legal consequences.

Authorities have published phone numbers, e-mail and mailbox addresses for the public to report any illegal information and acts.

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TL/AC/RC

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