Date
20 August 2017
Some people have used the internet to spread rumors, causing widespread damage and hurting the government's credibility, authorities say. Photo: Bloomberg
Some people have used the internet to spread rumors, causing widespread damage and hurting the government's credibility, authorities say. Photo: Bloomberg

China shuts down 31 websites for spreading rumors

Chinese authorities have shut down 31 websites for spreading “irresponsible rumors”, Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday.

Some people have used the internet to make up and spread rumors, and this has caused widespread panic, disturbed the order of society and could even damage the government’s credibility, the report quoted an official from the State Internet Information Office (SIIO) as saying.

Authorities have closed 30 websites including Beijing Zhiqing, Lotus Lake Bulletin Board, and Shaoguan Family, and suspended the mobile application of gozap.com for seven days, the report said.

China has more internet users than any other country, with over 630 million people online and an estimated 500 million mobile internet users.

The Chinese government has always strive to create an open, safe and trustworthy internet, and all internet and mobile service providers should spread “positive information”, and prevent defamation and dissemination of false information, the SIIO official said.

The office is launching a nationwide campaign to eradicate online rumors. Authorities will investigate websites and accounts suspected of spreading rumors online and police will try to determine responsibility.

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JZ/JP/CG

Freelance journalist

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