07/04/2016, 14.20
CHINA

China launches crackdown against spreading of fake news from social media

The Chinese government already exercises widespread controls over the internet and has sought to codify that policy in law. Officials say internet restrictions, including the blocking of popular foreign sites like Google and Facebook, are needed to ensure security in the face of rising threats, such as terrorism, and stop the spread of damaging rumors.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – As part of what the government calls a campaign against fake news and the spreading of rumors, China’s internet regulator will launch a crackdown on the reporting of news gathered from social media.

In a statement issued late Sunday, the Cyberspace Administration of China said that online media cannot report any news taken from social media sites without approval.

“It is forbidden to use hearsay to create news or use conjecture and imagination to distort the facts,” it said. “All levels of the cyberspace administration must earnestly fulfill their management responsibility for internet content, strengthen supervision and investigation, severely probe and handle fake and unfactual news,” the regulator added.

The Chinese government already exercises widespread controls over the internet and has sought to codify that policy in law.

Officials say internet restrictions, including the blocking of popular foreign sites like Google and Facebook, are needed to ensure security in the face of rising threats, such as terrorism, and stop the spread of damaging rumors.

At the same time, to boost online control, the General Office of the Central Leading Group on Cyberspace Affairs (CLGCA) and the Communist Youth League recently announced plans to recruit nationwide 10.5 million “Youth Volunteers for Internet Civilization,” writes Willy Wo-Lap Lam, a major China expert.

As part of this effort, “Each major university was assigned quotas of several thousand such volunteers whose job is to ensure that politically incorrect and ‘Westernized’ materials are banished from the Internet and the social media.”

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